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Mutually beneficial host exploitation and ultra-biased sex ratios in quasisocial parasitoids

Tang, Xiuyun; Meng, Ling; Kapranas, Apostolos; Xu, Fuyuan; Hardy, Ian C.W.; Li, Baoping

Authors

Xiuyun Tang

Ling Meng

Apostolos Kapranas

Fuyuan Xu

Ian C.W. Hardy

Baoping Li



Abstract

Selfish interests usually preclude resource sharing, but under some conditions collective actions enhance per capita gains. Such Allee effects underlay early explanations of social evolution but current understanding focusses on kin selection (inclusive fitness). We find an Allee effect that explains unusual quasisociality (cooperative brood care) among parasitoid wasps without invoking or precluding kin selection effects. In Sclerodermus harmandi, individual females produce most offspring when exploiting small hosts alone. However, larger hosts are more successfully exploited by larger groups of females, with the per-female benefits outweighing the costs of host sharing. Further, the extremely biased sex ratios (97% female) are better explained by mutually beneficial female–female interactions that increase the reproductive value of daughters (local resource enhancement), rather than by the usually invoked local mate competition between males. Thus, atypical quasisocial behaviour in a parasitoid wasp directly enhances reproductive success and selects for very extremely female-biased sex ratios.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Article Number 4942
APA6 Citation Tang, X., Meng, L., Kapranas, A., Xu, F., Hardy, I. C., & Li, B. (in press). Mutually beneficial host exploitation and ultra-biased sex ratios in quasisocial parasitoids. Nature Communications, 5, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5942
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5942
Publisher URL http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms5942
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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