Recognition, speciation, and conservation: recent progress in brood parasitism research among social insects

Thomas J. Manna, Mark E. Hauber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Obligate brood parasitism is costly to hosts because they are manipulated to parentally invest in unrelated offspring. In insects, this has culminated in an evolutionary arms race of adaptations and counter adaptations between hosts and parasites, providing a unique mosaic of specialization and speciation to investigate arms races in the context of ecological dynamics. Recent progress has employed new techniques to challenge well-established notions such as nestmate recognition mechanisms in host species and revealing never before documented specialized adaptations of both parasites and their hosts. Newly constructed molecular phylogenies have allowed the opportunity to examine the relatedness of host–parasite species-pairs with unprecedented clarity, lending to discussions of social parasitism as a model of speciation in sympatry. Finally, the recent and destructive spread of a lethally brood parasitic subspecies of honeybee in South Africa is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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