Social wasps as models to study the major evolutionary transition to superorganismality

Daisy Taylor, Seirian Sumner, Michael Bentley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)


The major evolutionary transition to superorganismality has taken place several times in the insects. Although there has been much consideration of the ultimate evolutionary explanations for superorganismality, we know relatively little about what proximate mechanisms constrain or promote this major transition. Here, we propose that Vespid wasps represent an understudied, but potentially very useful, model system for studying the mechanisms underpinning superorganismality. We highlight how there is an abundance of behavioural data for many wasp species, confirming their utility in studies of social evolution; however, there is a sparsity of genomic data from which we can test proximate and ultimate hypotheses on this major evolutionary transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Early online date11 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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