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Foundress Association in the Paper Wasp Polistes Dominulus Christ. (Hymen. Vesp.). Effects of Dominance Hierarchy On the Division of Labour

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[In this study, we investigated how various roles are distributed among associated females of Polistes dominulus Christ. The times spent on forty five different activities were observed in thirty one foundress associations. The females were classified into α, β and γ classes on the basis of the postures adopted in two-wasp encounters. Canonical discriminant analyses separated the three classes satisfactorily and ranked the class means in the correct dominance order. Alpha females spent significantly more time on behaviours related to reproduction and attendance at the nest, and significantly less time on foraging activities and various extra nest activities. In Beta females, the time spent on cell elongation was larger than in the other classes. Abdominal wagging was shorter in Gamma females than in the others. The total resting time was longer in α females, and the total grooming time was the same in all three classes. On the other hand, the ratios of resting time at the nest to the total resting time and the ratio of grooming at the nest to the total grooming time varied as a function of the females' dominance rank. It is suggested that individuals' aptitude for leaving the nest is a function of their hierarchical rank and that this aptitude partly determines which kinds of tasks are performed., In this study, we investigated how various roles are distributed among associated females of Polistes dominulus Christ. The times spent on forty five different activities were observed in thirty one foundress associations. The females were classified into α, β and γ classes on the basis of the postures adopted in two-wasp encounters. Canonical discriminant analyses separated the three classes satisfactorily and ranked the class means in the correct dominance order. Alpha females spent significantly more time on behaviours related to reproduction and attendance at the nest, and significantly less time on foraging activities and various extra nest activities. In Beta females, the time spent on cell elongation was larger than in the other classes. Abdominal wagging was shorter in Gamma females than in the others. The total resting time was longer in α females, and the total grooming time was the same in all three classes. On the other hand, the ratios of resting time at the nest to the total resting time and the ratio of grooming at the nest to the total grooming time varied as a function of the females' dominance rank. It is suggested that individuals' aptitude for leaving the nest is a function of their hierarchical rank and that this aptitude partly determines which kinds of tasks are performed.]

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853989x00664
1989-01-01
2015-09-01

Affiliations: 1: C.N.R.S.-Ethologie, 31 Ch. Joseph-Aiguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 09, France

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