Eucheira socialis westwoodi is the only known lepidopteran that exhibits division of labor. Early studies showed that colonies of larvae have a male biased sex ratio, and that larvae exhibit sex-specific behavioral differences. The objectives of my study were to test for an effect of work effort on larval growth and survivorship and to compare work effort between male and female larvae in colony of two different sex ratios. I found that males worked more than females as measured by the number of minutes spinning silk on the nest. Work effort in males, but not females, was negatively correlated to pupal weight and larval survivorship, suggesting that male work effort constitutes a sex-specific cost to social living. This project contributes to our understanding of the early stages of the evolution of cooperation and sociality and provides evidence of altruistic behavior among larval E. s. westwoodi.
|Advisor:||Underwood, Dessie L. A.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 47/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Organismal biology|
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