The Superorganism

The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

; Edward O. Wilson

The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. Les mer
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The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms-a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor-represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few.

Fakta

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Note to the General Readerxvi




The Construction of A superorganism

3(12)




Why Colonies Are Superior

5(1)




The Construction of Superorganisms

6(1)




The Levels of Organization

7(1)




Eusociality and the Superorganism

8(2)




A Brief History of Insect Sociobiology

10(5)




Genetic social Evolution

15(36)




An Abridged history of the Genetic theory of Social Evolution

16(8)




Multilevel natural Selection

24(5)




The Evolution of Eusociality

29(2)




Crossing the Eusociality Threshold

31(11)




Countervailing Forces of selection

42(1)




Passing the Point of No Return

42(9)




Sociognesis

51(18)




The Colony Life Cycle

53(1)




Social Algorithms

53(5)




Self-Organization and Emergence

58(2)




Phylogenetic Inertia and Dynamic Selection

60(9)




The Genetic Evolution of Decision Rules

69(14)




The Genetic Origin and Further Evolution of Eusociality

70(1)




Sociogenetics and Sociogenomics

71(2)




Honeybee Sociogenomics

73(2)




Sociogenomic Conservatin

75(2)




The Fire Ant case

77(2)




Genetic Variation and phenotypic Plasticity

79(4)




The Division of Labor

83(84)




Parallels: Organism and Superorgainsm

84(1)




The Ecology of Caste Systems

85(4)




The Evolution of Caste: principles

89(4)




Dominance Orders in Caste Determination

93(4)




Temporal castes

97(6)




The Physiology of Temporal Castes

103(13)




Genetic Variability in Caste Differentiation

116(1)




Memory in Division of Labor

117(3)




Task Swithcing and Behavior Plasticity

120(5)




Child labor

125(4)




Genetic Caste Determination

129(7)




Nongenetic Caste Determination

136(3)




Worker Subcastes

139(8)




The Physiology and Evolution of Physical Castes

147(5)




Adaptive Demography

152(7)




Teamwork

159(5)




The Larger Picture

164(3)




Communication

167(146)




Dance Communication in Honeybees

169(9)




Communication in Ant societies

178(5)




The Evolution of ant Recruitment Signals and Trail Guides

183(23)




Design and Functional Effiency of Pheromones

206(12)




Behavioral Modes of Recruitment System of Weaver Ants

218(1)




The Extreme Multiple Recruitment System of Weaver Ants

218(3)




Multimodal Signals, parsimony, and Ritualization

221(8)




Message and Meaning

229(2)




Modulatory Communication

231(4)




Motor Displays in Recruitment Communication

235(12)




Environmental Correlates of Recruitment Systems

247(4)




The Measurement of Information

251(1)




Tactile Communication and Trophallaxis

252(7)




The Social Bucket

259(8)




Visual Communication

267(3)




Anonymity and Specificity of Chemical Signals

270(3)




Necrophoric Behavior

273(2)




Nestmate Recognition

275(13)




Within-Colony Recognition

288(11)




Recognition of Brood

299(2)




Communicating Resource-Holding Potential Among Colonies

301(8)




Conclusion

309(4)




The Rise of the Ants

313(20)




The origin of Ants

315(3)




The Early Radiation of the Ants

318(2)




The Cenozoic Radiation

320(2)




The Ponerine Paradox

322(6)




The Tropical Arboreal Ants

328(2)




The Dynastic-Succession Hypothesis

330(3)




Ponerine Ants: The Great Radiation

333(74)




The Social Regulation of Reproduction

334(2)




Harpegnathos: Life Cycle of a Colonial Architect

336(19)




Dinoponera: Giant ``Worker Queens''

355(9)




Queens, Workers, Gamergates in Permutations

364(2)




Diacamma: Regulating Reproduction by Mutilation

366(7)




Streblognathus: Dominance and Fertility Uncoupled

373(3)




Gamergates versus Ergatoid Queens

376(2)




Pachycondyla fochi: Mass Termite Raiders

378(2)




Ergatoid Queens and Army Ants

380(2)




Pachycondyla: Sociobiologically the Most Diverse Ant Genus

382(12)




Platythyrea punctata: Extreme Plasticity in Reproduction

394(3)




Aggression and Dominance: Origin and Loss

397(1)




Harpegnathos: Resilience in Reproductibve Behavior

397(1)




Colony Size as an Ecological Adaptation

398(6)




Pachycondyla: Hyperdiversity Summarized

404(3)




The Attine Leafcutters: The Ultimate Superorganisms

407(62)




The Attine Breakthrough

408(3)




The Ascent of the Leafcutters

411(1)




The Atta Life Cycle

412(14)




The Atta Caste System

426(4)




Harvesting Vegetation

430(9)




Communication in Atta

439(6)




The Ant-Fungus Mutualism

445(4)




Hygiene in the Symbiosis

449(5)




Waste Management

454(2)




Agropredators and Agroparasites

456(1)




Leafcutter Nests

457(6)




Trails and Trunk Routes

463(6)




Nest Architecture and House Hunting

469(32)




The Analysis of Nest Architecture

470(3)




How Architecture Is Achieved

473(6)




The Process of Stigmergy

479(2)




House Hunting and Colony Emigration

481(20)
Epilogue501(2)
Acknowledgments503(2)
Glossary505(10)
Index515