The social structure of insect societies. What is different between insect societies and swarms of locusts, fish or birds?. The social insects have royalty!. Social Hymenoptera (ants, wasps, bees) have a queen Social Isoptera (termites) have a king & queen
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Western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor
In eusocial insects
"I had realized from experience that university people sometimes don't react well to common sense and in any case most of them listen to it harder if you first intimidate them with equations.“ Hamilton
Queen/worker dimorphism allows coercion (Tom Wenseleers) to their (potential) offspring (Hamilton’s concept of “supersisters”)
In two ant species, individuals about to reproduce are detected by nestmates and immobilised. In A the queen has smeared the culprit with a chemical, and workers physically prevent it from doing anything at all. In B the “black” worker hold the “white worker” captive for days, then turns it over to another worker for imprisonment