Oct 13, 2004

Effects of brood manipulation costs on optimal sex allocation in social hymenoptera

The American Naturalist
Max ReuterL Keller


In eusocial Hymenoptera, queens and workers are in conflict over optimal sex allocation. Sex ratio theory, while generating predictions on the extent of this conflict under a wide range of conditions, has largely neglected the fact that worker control of investment almost certainly requires the manipulation of brood sex ratio. This manipulation is likely to incur costs, for example, if workers eliminate male larvae or rear more females as sexuals rather than workers. In this article, we present a model of sex ratio evolution under worker control that incorporates costs of brood manipulation. We assume cost to be a continuous, increasing function of the magnitude of sex ratio manipulation. We demonstrate that costs counterselect sex ratio biasing, which leads to less female-biased population sex ratios than expected on the basis of relatedness asymmetry. Furthermore, differently shaped cost functions lead to different equilibria of manipulation at the colony level. While linear and accelerating cost functions generate monomorphic equilibria, decelerating costs lead to a process of evolutionary branching and hence split sex ratios.

  • References6
  • Citations14


Mentioned in this Paper

Harassment, Non-Sexual
Sex Ratio
Biological Evolution

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.

Related Papers

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Madeleine Beekman, Francis L W Ratnieks
© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved