Colony kin structure and breeding patterns in the social wasp, Polistes biglumis
2011 (English)In: Insectes Sociaux, ISSN 0020-1812, E-ISSN 1420-9098, Vol. 58, no 3, 345-355 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We used DNA microsatellites to study colony kin structure and breeding patterns in the primitively eusocial wasp Polistes biglumis. P. biglumis inhabits cool areas at high altitudes and, as a consequence, has a reduced colony cycle compared to more temperate Polistes. P. biglumis colonies are always founded and controlled by a single foundress, but nest failure is common and foundresses losing their nests do not have time to start new ones due to the short season. Instead, nests are characterized by frequent female turnover, in the form of females taking over (usurpation) other con-specific nests. Our results showed that most nests had offspring from multiple unrelated females, including some where multiple females were not observed in monitoring. Reconstruction of behavioural events from the genetic data revealed three types of multiple matriline nests: (a) nests that were usurped by another female, where the original nest owner disappeared following the usurpation event, (b) nests that were joined by another female, where the original nest owner stayed following the joining event, (c) nests that were both usurped and joined by other females. We also found, for the first time, a clear indication of multiple mating by Polistes females. Moreover, males mating with the same female were related, which may be explained by the lek mating system of P. biglumis. Finally, we analysed the nest sex ratios and how it changed during the season and found that sexes were produced sequentially, males before females.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 58, no 3, 345-355 p.
DNA microsatellites, Joining and usurpation, Polistes, Polyandry, Protandry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156108DOI: 10.1007/s00040-011-0149-yISI: 000292045800009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156108DiVA: diva2:430541