Social Regulation of Reproduction in a Tropical Insect Society

Mittwoch, 07. März 2018
11.45 – 13.15 Uhr

University of Konstanz, P 712


Raghavendra Gadagkar, Indian Institute of Science

Raghavendra Gadagkar is Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. We are happy that he agrees to give a talk in the course of this visit to Konstanz and the Zukunftskolleg.

Social insects such as ants, bees, wasps and termites live in colonies consisting of one or a small number of reproductive kings and queens and a large number of non-reproductive workers. On the one hand such reproductive caste differentiation is an evolutionary paradox. But on the other hand, it is also a unique example of the social regulation of reproduction. In his talk, Raghavendra Gadagkar will focus on the latter phenomenon and illustrate his attempts to understand the regulation of reproduction in the tropical primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. This model system is especially interesting because the regulation of reproduction is mediated by behavioural interactions and is rapidly reversible. It is also interesting because such regulation appears to happen with surprisingly little overt conflict.