Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Psyche

Volume

85

Issue

1

Publication Date

3-1-1978

First Page

85

Last Page

133

Abstract

Biologists have long been intrigued by the complex social systems of various insects. Despite a voluminous literature dealing with the evolution of these systems, immense gaps remain in our understanding of insect sociality. Several theories have been proposed to explain the evolution of social behavior in certain groups of insects (e.g., Hamilton, 1964), but none consider this problem with respect to geological time. The present paper does so by examining the fossil record for clues not only on the antiquity of sociality, but also on the nature of these early social insects. Included in this survey are those insects recognized as eusocial: the Isoptera, and three super-families of the Hymenoptera: Vespoidea, Formicoidea, and Apoidea.

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