Halictine Social Evolution: The Australian Enigma

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Science  22 Oct 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4263, pp. 445-448
DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4263.445


Australian halictines belong to the primitive genus Lasioglossum or related subgenera. The underground nests have lined cells in series or clusters and sometimes at the end of laterals. Two full generations per year are produced in the communal nests. Overwintered and newly emerged females form unique "pseudosocieties" rather than matrifilial societies along Holarctic patterns. Several Chilalictus species produce a "male caste" of big-headed, flightless males, in addition to normal individuals. Oviposition of unfertilized eggs on large pollen balls causes such allometric bees.