Unrelated helpers in a social insect

  title={Unrelated helpers in a social insect},
  author={David C. Queller and Francesca Zacchi and Rita Cervo and Stefano Turillazzi and Michael Thomas Henshaw and Lorenzo A Santorelli and Joan E. Strassmann},
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 are nearly always composed of close relatives; therefore, non-reproductive helping behaviour can be favoured by kin selection, because the… 
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Cooperation between non-relatives in a primitively eusocial paper wasp, Polistes dominula
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Insect societies are macroscopic, and because they span the entire range from solitary individuals to essentially superorganismal colonies, they offer an accessible model for how such transitions can happen.
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