Social Wasps: Discrimination Between Kin and Nonkin Brood

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Science  29 Jul 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4609, pp. 482-484
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4609.482


In experiments in which nest boxes were switched, colony foundresses of the social wasp Polistes fuscatus accepted sisters' combs with little brood destruction but destroyed younger brood in the combs of less closely related females and sometimes deserted these combs. Discrimination between related and unrelated brood does not appear to depend on prior brood contact or environmentally acquired cues.