• How to Design Experiments in Animal Behaviour 10. Why Do Wasps Fight? Part 2

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    • Keywords


      Ropalidia marginata, dominance behaviour, hyper-aggression, non-nestmates, potential queen, ovarian development, ovarian index.

    • Abstract


      Continuing to explore the intriguing world of the Indian paperwasp Ropalidia marginata for one last time, here we willfocus on the function of fighting behaviour in two additionalcontexts (i) the hyper-aggression of the potential queen duringqueen succession and (ii) during encounters with nonnestmatewasps. We will see again that the function of fightingis different in different contexts. We have already seentwo different functions of fighting in two different contexts—to decide who will be the queen and who will be the workerin the context of founding new nests, and to regulate foragingin mature colonies by conveying colony hunger levels toforagers. Here we will see that the function of the potentialqueen’s hyper-aggression is to boost her own ovarian developmentand the function of aggression towards non-nestmates isto keep them away, and if necessary, to kill! As before, ourprimary focus will be on how to design simple experimentsthat will help answer a direct question, while minimising theneed for expensive equipment or other facilities.

    • Author Affiliations


      Raghavendra Gadagkar1

      1. Centre for Ecological Sciences Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012, India.
    • Dates


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