Sex Ratio of Parental Investment in Colonies of the Social Wasp Polistes fuscatus

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Science  24 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4335, pp. 1354-1356
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4335.1354


Field estimates of parental investment in the two sexes in the social paper wasp Polistes fuscatus indicate that the mother's interests, rather than those of her worker offspring, are realized. Local competition for mates seemed to be absent, and the population investment ratio was not significantly different from 1:1. Workers are not more closely related to the brood they tend than they would be to their own offspring. The 3/4 relationship between sisters in haplodiploid species cannot account for the maintenance of eusociality in this case.