International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

only days left!
Find us: Ft

Caste Differences in the Mushroom Bodies of Swarm-Founding Paper Wasps (Vespidae: Epiponini)

Author(s):
Meghan Barrett, Sean O'Donnell , Susan Bulova , Sara DeLeon , Meghan Barrett , Katherine Fiocca
Institution(s):
Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA; Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA ; Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA ; Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA ; Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA ; Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA
In advanced eusocial Hymenoptera, such as swarm-founding paper wasps, reproductive castes (female queens and sterile workers) diverge strongly in their behaviors and activities. These divergent caste roles may differ in the cognitive demands they place on individual wasps and affect patterns of brain tissue investment. In this study, we asked whether the castes of sixteen species of the advanced eusocial paper wasp tribe Epiponini differed in the relative sizes of their mushroom bodies (MB), a key brain region involved in sensory integration, learning, and memory. Queens had significantly higher relative MB investment than workers, and species with larger colonies had stronger caste differences in MB size. Caste differences in MB volume across a range of social Hymenoptera suggest a positive association of MB investment with social dominance in flying social insects.
Back