The Superorganism : The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

Auteurs
Éditeurs
Parution
17/11/2008
Pages
544
Catégorie
Langue

Présentation

The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms—a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor—represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few.

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Sommaire

  • xviNOTE TO THE GENERAL READER
  • 3CHAPTER 1 : THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SUPERORGANISM
    • 5Why Colonies Are Superior
    • 6The Construction of Superorganisms
    • 7The Levels of Organization
    • 8Eusociality and the Superorganism
    • 10A Brief History of Insect Sociobiology
  • 15CHAPTER 2 : GENETIC SOCIAL EVOLUTION
    • 16An Abridged History of the Genetic Theory of Social Evolution
    • 24Multilevel Natural Selection
    • 29The Evolution of Eusociality
    • 31Crossing the Eusociality Threshold
    • 42Countervailing Forces of Selection
    • 42Passing the Point of No Return
  • 51CHAPTER 3 : SOCIOGENESIS
    • 53The Colony Life Cycle
    • 53Social Algorithms
    • 58Self-Organization and Emergence
    • 60Phylogenetic Inertia and Dynamic Selection
  • 69CHAPTER 4 : THE GENETIC EVOLUTION OF DECISION RULES
    • 70The Genetic Origin and Further Evolution of Eusociality
    • 71Sociogenetics and Sociogenomics
    • 73Honeybee Sociogenomics
    • 75Sociogenomic Conservation
    • 77The Fire Ant Case
    • 79Genetic Variation and Phenotypic Plasticity
  • 83CHAPTER 5 : THE DIVISION OF LABOR
    • 84Parallels: Organism and Superorganism
    • 85The Ecology of Caste Systems
    • 90The Evolution of Caste: Principles
    • 93Dominance Orders in Caste Determination
    • 97Temporal Castes
    • 103The Physiology of Temporal Castes
    • 116Genetic Variability in Caste Differentiation
    • 117Memory in Division of Labor
    • 120Task Switching and Behavior Plasticity
    • 125Child Labor
    • 129Genetic Caste Determination
    • 136Nongenetic Caste Determination
    • 139Worker Subcastes
    • 147The Physiology and Evolution of Physical Castes
    • 152Adaptive Demography
    • 159Teamwork
    • 164The Larger Picture
  • 167CHAPTER 6 : COMMUNICATION
    • 169Dance Communication in Honeybees
    • 178Communication in Ant Societies
    • 183The Evolution of Ant Recruitment Signals and Trail Guides
    • 206Design and Functional Efficiency of Pheromones
    • 214Behavioral Modes of Recruitment Communication
    • 218The Extreme Multiple Recruitment System of Weaver Ants
    • 221Multimodal Signals, Parsimony, and Ritualization
    • 229Message and Meaning
    • 231Modulatory Communication
    • 235Motor Displays in Recruitment Communication
    • 247Environmental Correlates of Recruitment Systems
    • 251The Measurement of Information
    • 252Tactile Communication and Trophallaxis
    • 259The Social Bucket
    • 267Visual Communication
    • 270Anonymity and Specificity of Chemical Signals
    • 273Necrophoric Behavior
    • 275Nestmate Recognition
    • 288Within-Colony Recognition
    • 299Recognition of Brood
    • 301Communicating Resource-Holding Potential Among Colonies
    • 309Conclusion
  • 314CHAPTER 7 : THE RISE OF THE ANTS
    • 315The Origin of Ants
    • 318The Early Radiation of the Ants
    • 320The Cenozoic Radiation
    • 322The Ponerine Paradox
    • 328The Tropical Arboreal Ants
    • 330The Dynastic-Succession Hypothesis
  • 333CHAPTER 8 : PONERINE ANTS: THE GREAT RADIATION
    • 334The Social Regulation of Reproduction
    • 336Harpegnathos: Life Cycle of a Colonial Architect
    • 355Dinoponera: Giant "Worker Queens"
    • 364Queens, Workers, Gamergates in Permutations
    • 366Diacamma: Regulating Reproduction by Mutilation
    • 373Streblognathus: Dominance and Fertility Uncoupled
    • 376Gamergates versus Ergatoid Queens
    • 378Pachycondyla fochi: Mass Termite Raiders
    • 380Ergatoid Queens and Army Ants
    • 382Pachycondyla: Sociobiologically the Most Diverse Ant Genus
    • 394Platythyrea punctata: Extreme Plasticity in Reproduction
    • 397Aggression and Dominance: Origin and Loss
    • 397Harpegnathos: Resilience in Reproductive Behavior
    • 398Colony Size as an Ecological Adaptation
    • 404Pachycondyla: Hyperdiversity Summarized
  • 407CHAPTER 9 : THE ATTINE LEAFCUTTERS: THE ULTIMATE SUPERORGANISMS
    • 408The Attine Breakthrough
    • 411The Ascent of the Leafcutters
    • 412The Atta Life Cycle
    • 426The Atta Caste System
    • 430Harvesting Vegetation
    • 439Communication in Atta
    • 445The Ant-Fungus Mutualism
    • 449Hygiene in the Symbiosis
    • 454Waste Management
    • 456Agropredators and Agroparasites
    • 457Leafcutter Nests
    • 463Trails and Trunk Routes
  • 469CHAPTER 10 : NEST ARCHITECTURE AND HOUSE HUNTING
    • 470The Analysis of Nest Architecture
    • 473How Architecture Is Achieved
    • 479The Process of Stigmergy
    • 481House Hunting and Colony Emigration
  • 501EPILOGUE
  • 503ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  • 505GLOSSARY
  • 515INDEX

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