HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Taking a bite out of a fellow worker helps wasps recruit new foragers

If you think you've got a bad boss, one who loves to chew people out, or if you work with backstabbing co-workers, be thankful you are not a wasp.

If you were, chances are your nestmates might bite you to communicate that it is time to leave the nest and forage for the colony, according to research by a University of Washington animal behaviorist. Biting is a way that workers in a colony of the social wasp Polybia occidentalis recruit new foragers to gather water, food and building material in a time of need, said Sean O'Donnell, a UW associate professor of psychology.

O'Donnell previously found that biting appears to be an important way of regulating the division of labor among these insects. Now, in the current issue of the journal Animal Behaviour, he describes an experiment in which he artificially removed active foragers from four wasp colonies to see how new foragers are recruited.

He found that biting was directed at certain individuals, who previously hadn't left the nest, to induce them to begin foraging. The rate of being bitten increased by an average of 600 percent for these recruited foragers, while biting rates did not increase for other workers.

"The fact that biting was specifically directed at recruited foragers shows that biting is the mechanism that the colonies used to activate new foragers," said O'Donnell. "With no water, food and building material coming in to the nest, the colonies needed to ramp up their foraging workforce. This study shows that these biting interactions play a central role in recruiting foragers and that biting has a role in communication that affects task performance in a colony."

To study the wasps, O'Donnell first collected and anesthetized an average of about 300 workers from each of the colonies. He then marked each wasp's thorax with a color-coded system that made it possible to identify individuals and returned the insects to their nests. A day later, all foragers returning to a n
'"/>

Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
27-Mar-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Taking a supplement of glycine helps prevent degenerative diseases such as arthrosis or osteoporosis
2. Taking heart failure to the MAT1
3. Taking chips to the next level of gene hunting
4. Vax and Pax: Taking turns to build an eye
5. Taking evolutions temperature: Researchers pinpoint the energy it takes to make a species
6. Taking a break from fractures: A closer look at vitamin D
7. Taking a flying jump
8. Taking the piste out of Alpine vegetation
9. Taking the next step toward growing our own fuel
10. QUTs top researchers honored with fellowships
11. Genetic fellow traveler discovered in Alzheimers

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/24/2019)... ... , ... According to the World Health Organization , over a million ... gonorrhea, trichomoniasis (or "trich") and syphilis. And that’s not counting HIV. , In ... for the largest number of HIV diagnoses (9,807), followed by Hispanic/Latino men (7,436) and ...
(Date:6/16/2019)... ... June 14, 2019 , ... Respected periodontist, Dr. Dan ... annual Neodent World Congress. Attended by thousands of dental clinicians from all over ... the world of dentistry. The three-day event featured a team of expert speakers ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... June 13, 2019 , ... ... LP , the first organization exclusively serving the end-to-end clinical and ancillary supply ... as well as contract and medical research organizations, today announced it will sponsor ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Object Pharma, Inc., a ... acquisition of Metabiologics, Inc., a globally recognized leader in the production and sale ... rights to a full spectrum of botulinum neurotoxins, as well as a CDC ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... DuPont Nutrition ... opened the inaugural Africa Brewing Conference dedicated to sharing brewing knowledge, strengthening relationships ... event, which is supported through a partnership with “Ethiopia Invest”, will run through ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... May 13, 2019 ... ... of custom built, helium-based leak testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device ... new Heliumleak.com company website. The redesigned website aims to improve LDA’s ability to ...
(Date:5/7/2019)... , ... May 06, 2019 , ... ... resource for the growing number of repositories being asked to store cellular products ... to the team of contributors who are world leaders, who have shared their ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: