Susanne Foitzik

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The fitness consequences of animal personalities (also known as behavioural syndromes) have recently been studied in several solitary species. However, the adaptive significance of collective personalities in social insects and especially of behavioural variation among group members remains largely unexplored. Although intracolonial behavioural variation is(More)
Recently, avian brood parasites and their hosts have emerged as model systems for the study of host-parasite coevolution. However, empirical studies of the highly analogous social parasites, which use the workers of another eusocial species to raise their own young, have never explicitly examined the dynamics of these systems from a coevolutionary(More)
In this synthesis we apply coevolutionary models to the interactions between socially parasitic ants and their hosts. Obligate social parasite systems are ideal models for coevolution, because the close phylogenetic relationship between these parasites and their hosts results in similar evolutionary potentials, thus making mutual adaptations in a stepwise(More)
Variation in gene expression leads to phenotypic diversity and plays a central role in caste differentiation of eusocial insect species. In social Hymenoptera, females with the same genetic background can develop into queens or workers, which are characterized by divergent morphologies, behaviours and lifespan. Moreover, many social insects exhibit(More)
We aimed at identifying the causal basis of previously shown interrelations between demographic and genetic colony structure, ecological factors and split sex ratios in the ant, Leptothorax nylanderi. Colony-level variation in sex allocation was only partly explained by annual fluctuations during eight study years and by resource availability as indicated(More)
The queen mating frequency of the ant Leptothorax nylanderi was investigated by analyzing three (GA)n repeat microsatellite loci in queens and workers in 12 colonies from a single German population. Microsatellite genotypes indicate that all queens were inseminated by a single male. The genotypes of the males produced in queenright colonies suggest that(More)
Colony and population structure of the obligate slavemaker ant Protomognathus americanus was analyzed via four nuclear microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. Colonies of P. americanus usually contain a single queen, and here we show that she is singly inseminated. Nestmate workers are generally full sisters and their relatedness does not(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)
Sex ratios were bimodally distributed in a population of the monogynous and monandrous ant Leptothorax nylanderi during each of 3 study years. The population-wide investment ratios suggested worker control of sex allocation. Nest-level variation in the proportional investment in virgin queens was not affected by the presence or absence of a queen and only(More)
The parasite pressure exerted by the slavemaker ant Protomognathus americanus on its host species Leptothorax longispinosus was analyzed demographically and genetically. The origin of slaves found in colonies of the obligate slavemaker was examined with nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers to make inferences about the frequency and severity of slave raids.(More)