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Biol. Rev. (2001), 76, pp. 211237 Printed in the United Kingdom # Cambridge Philosophical Society 211 Individual versus social complexity, with
 

Summary: Biol. Rev. (2001), 76, pp. 211237 Printed in the United Kingdom # Cambridge Philosophical Society 211
Individual versus social complexity, with
particular reference to ant colonies
CARL ANDERSON* and DANIEL W. MCSHEA
Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 277080338, USA
(Received 6 April 2000, revised 14 November 2000; accepted 14 November 2000)
ABSTRACT
Insect societies colonies of ants, bees, wasps and termites vary enormously in their social complexity.
Social complexity is a broadly used term that encompasses many individual and colony-level traits and
characteristics such as colony size, polymorphism and foraging strategy. A number of earlier studies have
considered the relationships among various correlates of social complexity in insect societies; in this review,
we build upon those studies by proposing additional correlates and show how all correlates can be
integrated in a common explanatory framework. The various correlates are divided among four broad
categories (sections). Under `polyphenism' we consider the differences among individuals, in particular
focusing upon `caste' and specialization of individuals. This is followed by a section on `totipotency' in which
we consider the autonomy and subjugation of individuals. Under this heading we consider various aspects
such as intracolony conflict, worker reproductive potential and physiological or morphological restrictions
which limit individuals' capacities to perform a range of tasks or functions. A section entitled `organization
of work' considers a variety of aspects, e.g. the ability to tackle group, team or partitioned tasks, foraging
strategies and colony reliability and efficiency. A final section, `communication and functional integration',

  

Source: Anderson, Carl - Synthetic Intelligence, Qbit, LLC, Bethesda, MD
McShea, Daniel W. - Department of Biology, Duke University

 

Collections: Engineering; Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Mathematics