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Natural History and Evolution of Paper-Wasps

Edited By: Stefano Turilliazzi and Mary Jane West-Eberhard

456 pages, B/w photos, figs, tabs

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jan 1996 | #41389 | ISBN: 0198549474
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £89.99 $110/€101 approx

About this book

An in-depth survey of most areas of research on the genus Polistes, which have played a key role in studies and theories of social evolution. This book is unusual in combining synthetic reviews and new, unpublished data with original ideas reaching far beyond the particular group focused on to topics of interest for evolutionary biologists and ethologists. Most major areas of research on the paper-wasps are covered - from syntheses of taxonomy and phylogeny, natural history (nesting behaviour, social organisation, orientation, and natural enemies) to topics of general theoretical interest such as the evolution of cooperation, social parasitism, kin recognition, and the division of labour.


1. Polistes: analysis of a society; 2. Phylogeny and biogeography of Polistes; 3. Learning, individual programs, and higher-level rules in construction of behaviour of Polistes; 4. Ecological factors influencing the colony cycle of Polistes; 5. Social parsitism and its evolution in Polistes; 6. Lek-like courtship in paper-wasps; 'a prolonged, delicate, and troublesome affair'; 7. Homing in paper wasps; 8. The evolution of exocrine gland function in wasps; 9. Kin recognition in social waps; 10. The role of cuticular hydrocarbons in social insects: is it the same in paper wasps?; 11. Selective altruism towards closer over more distant relatives in colonies of the primitively eusocial wasp, Polistes; 12. Behavioural screening and the evolution of polygyny in paper wasps; 13. The origin and maintenance of eusociality: the advantage of extended parental care; 14. Polistes in perspective: comparative social biology and evolution in Belanogaster and Stenogastrinae; 15. The evolution of eusociality, including a review of the social status of Ropalidia marignata; 16. Wasps make nests: nests make conditions; 17. Wasp societies as microcosms for the study of development and evolution; 18. Some epistemological reflections on Polistes as a model organisms; References

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