Clonal variation and cheating at hierachical scales in eusocial aphids.
ABSTRACT- Pemphigus obesinymphae is the only North American social aphid studied in detail. Prior established that the social groups in which these aphids occur are invaded and exploited by intruders from neighboring clones. But this work left unanswered fundamental questions about the patterns of conflict in aphid societies. The current study uses microsatellite markers and field experiments to accurately quantify the pattern of relatedness in P. obesinymphae social groups at multiple scales. These results and on-going studies offer social biologists new perspectives as they assemble the puzzle of exploitation and altruism across microbial and animal taxa.
Key words: sociality, cheating, microsatellites, relatedness
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