The Behavioural Ecology of Ants

The Behavioural Ecology of Ants

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This book is concerned with two problems: how eusociality, in which one individual forgoes reproduction to enhance the reproduction of a nestmate, could evolve under natural selection, and why it is found only in some insects-termites, ants and some bees and wasps. Although eusociality is apparently confined to insects, it has evolved a number of times in a single order of insects, the Hymenoptera. W. Hamilton's hypothesis, that the unusual haplodiploid mechanism of sex determination in the Hymenoptera singled this order out, still seems to have great explanatory power in the study of social ants. We believe that the direction, indeed confinement, of social altruism to close kin is the mainspring of social life in an ant colony, and the alternative explanatory schemes of, for example, parental manipu lation, should rightly be seen to operate within a system based on the selective support of kin. To control the flow of resources within their colony all its members resort to manipulations of their nestmates: parental manipulation of offspring is only one facet of a complex web of manipul ation, exploitation and competition for resources within the colony. The political intrigues extend outside the bounds of the colony, to insects and plants which have mutualistic relations with ants. In eusociality some individuals (sterile workers) do not pass their genes to a new generation directly. Instead, they tend the offspring of a close relation (in the simplest case their mother).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 206 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 11.68mm | 328g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1987
  • 28 Illustrations, black and white; X, 206 p. 28 illus.
  • 9401079048
  • 9789401079044
  • 46,399

Table of contents

1 Social Behaviour as a Selfish Strategy.- 1.1 Kin selection.- 1.2 Inclusive fitness and sex ratios.- 1.2.1 Multiple queens.- 1.2.2 Multiple mating.- 1.2.3 Male production by workers.- 1.3 Parental care and manipulation.- 1.4 The evolution of polygyny.- 1.4.1 Secondary polygyny.- 1.4.2 Polygyny as a form of parasitism.- 1.4.3. The behaviour of polygynous queens.- 1.4.4 Oligogyny.- 1.5 Dominance hierarchies in workers.- 1.6 Cooperation and competition.- 2 The Phylogeny of Ants.- 2.1 The origin of ants.- 2.1.1 The ant family tree.- 2.1.2 A Mesozoic fossil ant.- 2.1.3 A living fossil ant.- 2.1.4 Adaptation to liquid feeding.- 2.2 The subfamilies of ants.- 2.2.1 Myrmeciinae.- 2.2.2 Ponerinae.- 2.2.3 Dorylinae.- 2.2.4 Pseudomyrmecinae.- 2.2.5 Myrmicinae.- 2.2.6 Dolichoderinae.- 2.2.7 Formicinae.- 2.2.8 Further reading.- 3 Ant Economics.- 3.1 Economies of scale.- 3.1.1 The colony-founding stage.- 3.1.2 The ergonomic stage.- 3.1.3 The reproductive stage.- 3.2 Colony life-history strategies.- 3.2.1 The schedule of growth, investment and reproduction.- 3.2.2 Knowing when to split.- 3.3 The flow of resources within the colony.- 3.3.1 Food exchange between workers.- 3.3.2 The flow of food to larvae.- 3.3.3 The course of food flow in the society.- 3.4 Nest construction.- 3.4.1 Benefits of the nest structure.- 3.4.2 Nest-excavation techniques.- 3.4.3 Above-ground nest structures.- 3.4.4 Import of special materials for nests.- 3.4.5 Compounding special materials for nests.- 4 Who does What, and When?.- 4.1 How ants are employed: how many tasks are performed in antcolonies?.- 4.2 Temporal polyethism: production lines based on an age-baseddivision of labour.- 4.2.1 Caste systems.- 4.2.2 Task allocation.- 4.2.3 Adaptive demography and caste efficiency.- 4.3 Conflicts over the division of labour.- 4.3.1 A morphological division of labour in monomorphic ants.- 4.4 Physical castes.- 4.4.1 Allometry as a developmental constraint on caste evolution.- 4.5 The economics of caste ratios.- 4.5.1 Time and motion studies.- 4.5.2 Case study: the ergonomics of leaf-cutter ants.- 4.5.3 Case study: the ergonomics of foraging in army ants.- 4.6 Caste ratios and social homeostasis.- 5 Communication.- 5.1 Ant signals and language.- 5.2 Recognition of nestmates.- 5.3 Pheromonal communication.- 5.3.1 Alarm pheromones.- 5.3.2 Multiple pheromones.- 5.4 Communication in recruitment.- 5.4.1 Simple cooperative hunting.- 5.4.2 Group recruitment.- 5.4.3 Mass recruitment.- 5.5 Sex pheromones.- 5.5.1 Queen pheromones.- 5.5.2 Other sexual pheromones.- 6 Ants as Partners.- 6.1 Ants in the ecological community.- 6.2 Ants and plants.- 6.2.1 Ants and extrafloral nectaries.- 6.2.2 Ants as allelopathic agents of trees.- 6.2.3 Transport of seeds by ants.- 6.2.4 Ant gardens.- 6.2.5 Ants and epiphytes.- 6.3 Ants and other insects.- 6.3.1 Ants and aphids.- 6.3.2 Ants and Lepidoptera.- 6.4 The cost-benefit balance in mutualism.- 7 Ants Exploiting Ants.- 7.1 Types of exploitation.- 7.1.1 Mugger ants.- 7.1.2 Claim-jumpers.- 7.1.3 Thief ants.- 7.1.4 Guest ants.- 7.2 The temporary and permanent parasitic ants.- 7.2.1 Infiltration by parasitic queens.- 7.2.2 Temporary parasites.- 7.3 The evolution of inquilines.- 7.3.1 The ultimate cuckoo ants.- 7.4 Slavery.- 7.4.1 Amazon ants.- 7.4.2 The tiny slave-makers.- 7.4.3 Imprinting and slave-making.- 7.4.4 The evolution of slave-making.- 7.4.5 Are slave-makers degenerate?.- 8 Ant Ecology.- 8.1 Competition.- 8.2 Economics of territorial defence.- 8.3 Foraging for the most profitable prey.- 8.4 Ants as predators and prey: army ant foraging ecology.- References.
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