The Evolution of Social Wasps

Paperback | April 10, 2007

byJames H. Hunt

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Social behavior occurs in some of the smallest animals as well as some the largest, and the transition from solitary life to sociality is an unsolved evolutionary mystery. In The Evolution of Social Wasps, James H. Hunt examines social behavior in a single lineage of insects, wasps of thefamily Vespidae. He presents empirical knowledge of social wasps from two approaches, one that focuses on phylogeny and life history and one that focuses on individual ontogeny, colony development, and population dynamics. He also provides an extensive summary of the existing literature whiledemonstrating how it can be clouded by theory. Hunt's fresh approach to the conflicting literature on sociality highlights how oft repeated models can become fixed in the thinking of the scientific community. Instead, Hunt presents a mechanistic scenario for the evolution of sociality in waspsthat changes our perspective on kin selection, the paradigm that has dominated thinking about social evolution since the 1970s. This innovative new model integrates life history, nutrition, fitness and ecology in which social insect biologists will find a rich storehouse of ideas and information,and behavioral ecologists will find a bracing challenge to long accepted models. Engagingly written, bold, and provocative, The Evolution of Social Wasps marks a milestone in our understanding of one of lifes major evolutionary transitions - the origin of social behavior.

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Social behavior occurs in some of the smallest animals as well as some the largest, and the transition from solitary life to sociality is an unsolved evolutionary mystery. In The Evolution of Social Wasps, James H. Hunt examines social behavior in a single lineage of insects, wasps of thefamily Vespidae. He presents empirical knowledg...

James Hunt is a Professor of Biology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.79 inPublished:April 10, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195307976

ISBN - 13:9780195307979

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Table of Contents

Part One - HistoryChapter One. Plant Feeders and ParasitoidsChapter Two. Pollen Wasps, Potter Wasps, and Hover WaspsChapter Three. Paper Wasps and VespinesChapter Four. The Historical Scenario of Social EvolutionPart Two - DynamicsChapter Five. IndividualsChapter Six. ColoniesChapter Seven. PopulationsChapter Eight. The Dynamic Scenario of Social EvolutionPart Three - Paradigm Lost - And Found?Chapter Nine. Kin SelectionChapter Ten. Behavioral EcologyChapter Eleven. A Post-Modern SynthesisConclusionReferences

Editorial Reviews

"I am going to have to read it again to let it really sink in, but I felt as if thick iron chains had been lifted from my limbs when I finished. Freedom! ... The final section (especially) should be REQUIRED reading for all organismal biologists- training or senior."--Sean Odonnell, Universityof Washington