Evolution of maternal care in diploid and haplodiploid populations


Andy Gardner, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
Tel.: +44 1865 271 271; fax: +44 1865 271 249;
e-mail: andy.gardner@zoo.ox.ac.uk


Maternal care has been suggested to evolve more readily in haplodiploid populations. Because maternal care appears to have been a prerequisite for the evolution of eusociality, this effect potentially explains the apparent preponderance of haplodiploidy among eusocial taxa. Here, I use a kin selection approach to model the evolution of maternal care in diploid and haplodiploid populations. In contrast to previous suggestions, I find that haplodiploidy may inhibit as well as promote the evolution of maternal care. Moreover, I find that the haplodiploidy effect vanishes in outbred populations if gene effects average rather than add together. I confirm these analytical results using numerical simulation of an explicit population genetics model. This analysis casts doubt upon the idea that haplodiploidy has promoted the evolution of maternal care and, consequently, the evolution of eusociality.