Altruistic colony defense by menopausal female insects

Keigo Uematsu, Mayako Kutsukake, Takema Fukatsu, Masakazu Shimada, Harunobu Shibao

研究成果: Article査読

43 被引用数 (Scopus)


Recent studies have suggested that an extended postreproductive life span, such as life after menopause in human females, will evolve when the indirect (kin-selected) fitness benefits from altruistic behavior are greater than the direct fitness benefits from continuing reproduction [1-4]. Under some conditions in which postreproductive altruism is more beneficial and/or continuing reproduction is more costly, the postreproductive life span can be shaped by natural selection [5, 6]. However, indirect fitness benefits during postreproductive survival have been documented mainly in intelligent mammals such as humans and cetaceans, in which elder females possess enhanced social knowledge through learning [7-10]. Here we show that postreproductive females of the gall-forming aphid Quadrartus yoshinomiyai (Nipponaphidini) can gain indirect fitness benefits through their altruistic colony defense. These females cease reproduction around the time of gall opening and defend the colony by sticking themselves to intruding predators with a waxy secretion that is accumulated in their body with aging. Our results suggest that the presence of an age-related trait for altruistic behavior promotes the evolution of postreproductive altruism in this social insect via kin selection under natural selection imposed by predators.

ジャーナルCurrent Biology
出版ステータスPublished - 2010 7月 13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 生化学、遺伝学、分子生物学(全般)
  • 農業および生物科学(全般)


「Altruistic colony defense by menopausal female insects」の研究トピックを掘り下げます。これらがまとまってユニークなフィンガープリントを構成します。