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Variation in endocrine pathways can be a major mechanism underlying life-history evolution. Yet it is unclear whether this insight, derived primarily from solitary species, explains the origins of complex life-history traits in highly social taxa. Thus, we here document and study variation in social life-history syndromes of female fecundity, behavior, and(More)
Termites (Isoptera) are the phylogenetically oldest social insects, but in scientific research they have always stood in the shadow of the social Hymenoptera. Both groups of social insects evolved complex societies independently and hence, their different ancestry provided them with different life-history preadaptations for social evolution. Termites, the(More)
The evolution of eusociality is one of the major transitions in evolution, but the underlying genomic changes are unknown. We compared the genomes of 10 bee species that vary in social complexity, representing multiple independent transitions in social evolution, and report three major findings. First, many important genes show evidence of neutral evolution(More)
Juvenile hormone (JH) and ecdysteroid titers are critical factors for caste development and metamorphosis in the last larval instar of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Two highly sensitive radioimmunoassays were used for the determination of these hormones in the hemolymph. For juvenile hormone, which is of prime importance for the control of caste development(More)
The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species.(More)
A honeybee queen normally mates with 10–20 drones, and reproductive conflicts may arise among a colony’s different worker patrilines, especially after a colony has lost its single queen and the workers commence egg laying. In this study, we employed microsatellite markers to study aspects of worker reproductive competition in two queenless Africanized(More)
Learning in insects has been extensively studied using different experimental approaches. One of them, the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, is particularly well suited for quantitative studies of cognitive abilities of honeybees under controlled conditions. The goal of this study was to analyze the capability of three eusocial bee species to be(More)
Juvenile hormone (JH) controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC) complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with(More)
Nutrient sensitive insulin-like peptides (ILPs) have profound effects on invertebrate metabolism, nutrient storage, fertility and aging. Many insects transcribe ILPs in specialized neurosecretory cells at changing levels correlated with life history. However, the major site of insect metabolism and nutrient storage is not the brain, but rather the fat body,(More)