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High-resolution genetic markers have revolutionized our understanding of vertebrate mating systems, but have so far yielded few comparable surprises about kinship in social insects. Here we use microsatellite markers to reveal an unexpected and unique social system in what is probably the best-studied social wasp, Polistes dominulus. Social insect colonies(More)
Hamilton's theory [1] for the evolution of social behaviour predicts that helpers may renounce direct reproduction to help their more fertile kin. Intra-colony recognition among queens and helpers (subordinate queens or workers) is consequently a central issue in insect sociobiology. In social insects, cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are involved in(More)
Differences in long-chain hydrocarbon mixtures among reproductive and nonreproductive individuals have been often revealed in social insects. However, very few papers demonstrated that these signatures actually act as contact pheromones used by nonreproductive to recognize the presence of a related queen in the colony. Cuticular and glandular hydrocarbons(More)
Chemical communication is widespread in insects and is crucial for colony organization in social species [1]. The environment and the signal requirements influence the chemical characteristics of the pheromone employed [1]. Highly volatile substances elicit rapid responses, as in alarm signalling, whereas low volatility compounds provide long-lasting cues(More)
At a very early age several mammals establish a first dominance hierarchy, which often persists into adulthood. Social wasps offer an excellent opportunity to study such a phenomenon in insects. Indeed, foundresses of several paper wasps meet in clusters to hibernate from September to March. In spring, wasps found new associative nests where linear(More)
Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a(More)
To establish a dominance order, social animals often rely on indicators of fighting to avoid costly aggressive encounters. In some species, individuals use colour patterns to signal their social status. Recent studies claimed that facial markings in the eusocial paper wasp Polistes dominulus are status badges that allow co-foundresses to form a linear(More)
The expression of chemosensory proteins (CSPs) and odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) in individuals of different castes and ages have been monitored in three species of social hymenopterans, Polistes dominulus (Hymenoptera, Vespidae), Vespa crabro (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) and Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae), using PCR with specific primers and polyclonal(More)
Chemical communication in insects is mediated by soluble binding proteins, belonging to two large families, Odorant-binding Proteins (OBPs) and Chemosensory Proteins (CSPs). Recently, evidence has been provided that OBPs are involved in recognition of chemical stimuli. We therefore decided to investigate the expression of OBPs and CSPs in the honeybee at(More)
MALDI profiling and imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) are novel techniques for direct analysis of peptides and small proteins in biological tissues. In this work we applied them to the study of Anopheles gambiae antennae, with the aim of analysing expression of soluble proteins involved in olfaction perireceptor events. MALDI spectra obtained by direct(More)