Intra-nest relatedness in the social wasp Polistes metricus - A genetic analysis

Robert A. Metcalf, Gregory S. Whitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. It was determined that (a) the workers do not produce maledestined egges when foundresses are present, (b) the α foundress shares reproduction with the β foundress; the α foundress produces 78% of the colony's females and 87% of the males, (c) foundresses mate at least twice, using these sperm in a 9:1 ratio, and (d) when the nest's foundresses are dead and the nest successful, two workers lay male-destined eggs, one producing 19 times as many as the other worker. 2. Six nest classes were defined on the basis of combinations of foundress mortality for successful nets which had been derived from one or two foundresses. Using the results summarized above and the time of foundress deaths, a set of intercaste relatedness values was calculated uniquely defining these six nest classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-351
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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