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Major Evolutionary Transitions in Social Insects, the Importance of Worker Sterility and Life History Trade-Offs

Bernadou, Abel ; Kramer, Boris H. ; Korb, Judith


The evolution of eusociality in social insects, such as termites, ants, and some bees and wasps, has been regarded as a major evolutionary transition (MET). Yet, there is some debate whether all species qualify. Here, we argue that worker sterility is a decisive criterion to determine whether species have passed a MET (= superorganisms), or not. When workers are sterile, reproductive interests ...


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