Grooming, aggression, and genetic relatedness in Parachartergus colobopterus, a neotropical swarm-founding wasp
Klingler, Ceal Jenifer
Strassmann, Joan E.
Master of Science
I examined biting, grooming, and inspection behavior in a pre-emergent colony of Parachartergus colobopterus, a neotropical swarm-founding wasp, to determine whether kin discrimination occurs between adult colony members. If within-colony kin discrimination exists, this is a likely place to find it. Low relatedness among colony members at some points in the colony cycle reduces advantages of nestmate discrimination and increases possible advantages of within-colony kin discrimination. I found no evidence of kin discrimination in length or frequency of biting and grooming interactions. Furthermore, interactants in biting, inspection, and grooming interactions were no more or less related than by chance. Results suggest that members of the species P. colobopterus do not identify and preferentially aid closer kin within a colony.
Entomology; Ecology; Genetics