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vol. 152, no. 3 the american naturalist september 1998 Colony Size and Individual Fitness in the

Summary: vol. 152, no. 3 the american naturalist september 1998
Colony Size and Individual Fitness in the
Social Spider Anelosimus eximius
Leticia Avile´s1
and Paul Tufin~o2
1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University 1995), competitive ability (Buss 1981), or some combina-
of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721; tion of the above (e.g., Pulliam and Caraco 1984). At the
2. Departamento de Biologi´a, Pontificia Universidad Cato´lica del same time, group living has been shown to have costs re-
Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
sulting from unavoidable competition among group
members (e.g., Michener 1964; Komdeur 1994; BoothSubmitted July 28, 1997; Accepted March 30, 1998
1995; and references above). A generally accepted hy-
pothesis is that, if group living is to be maintained, the
balance between the costs and benefits of sociality should
result in higher individual fitness among social thanabstract: The effects of colony size on individual fitness and its
components were investigated in artificially established and natural among solitary individuals (Alexander 1974; Vehrencamp
colonies of the social spider Anelosimus eximius (Araneae: Theridi- 1983; Emlen and Vehrencamp 1985). This hypothesis can
idae). In the tropical rain forest understory at a site in eastern Ec- be tested by investigating the shape of the function re-
uador, females in colonies containing between 23­107 females had
lating individual fitness to colony size. If there is no indi-


Source: Avilés, Leticia - Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology