PATTERNS OF PATERNITY SKEW AMONG POLYANDROUS SOCIAL INSECTS: WHAT CAN THEY TELL US ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR SEXUAL SELECTION?
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 66, Issue 12, pages 3778–3788, December 2012
How to Cite
Jaffé, R., Garcia-Gonzalez, F., den Boer, S. P. A., Simmons, L. W. and Baer, B. (2012), PATTERNS OF PATERNITY SKEW AMONG POLYANDROUS SOCIAL INSECTS: WHAT CAN THEY TELL US ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR SEXUAL SELECTION?. Evolution, 66: 3778–3788. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01721.x
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 25 JUN 2012 09:02AM EST
- Received March 3, 2012 Accepted June 10, 2012
- Cryptic female choice;
- genetic diversity;
- kin selection;
- sexual conflict;
- social Hymenoptera;
- sperm competition
Monogamy results in high genetic relatedness among offspring and thus it is generally assumed to be favored by kin selection. Female multiple mating (polyandry) has nevertheless evolved several times in the social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), and a substantial amount of work has been conducted to understand its costs and benefits. Relatedness and inclusive fitness benefits are, however, not only influenced by queen mating frequency but also by paternity skew, which is a quantitative measure of paternity biases among the offspring of polyandrous females. We performed a large-scale phylogenetic analysis of paternity skew across polyandrous social Hymenoptera. We found a general and significant negative association between paternity frequency and paternity skew. High paternity skew, which increases relatedness among colony members and thus maximizes inclusive fitness gains, characterized species with low paternity frequency. However, species with highly polyandrous queens had low paternity skew, with paternity equalized among potential sires. Equal paternity shares among fathers are expected to maximize fitness benefits derived from genetic diversity among offspring. We discuss the potential for postcopulatory sexual selection to influence patterns of paternity in social insects, and suggest that sexual selection may have played a key, yet overlooked role in social evolution.