Brian, M. V. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Furzebrook Research Station, Wareham, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:May 2020
Show previous versions
- Bees and wasps
- Nest construction
- Symbiosis with other organisms
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Insects that share resources and reproduce cooperatively. Social insects live in large, cooperative colonies and have evolved in various ways to maximize their fitness. In general, social insects adhere to social hierarchies, interacting and reproducing cooperatively, as well as sharing resources. The shared resources are shelter, defense, and food (collection or production). After a period of population growth, the insects reproduce in several ways. As social insect groups grow, they evolve more differentiation between members, but reintegrate into a more closely organized system known as eusocial. These are the most advanced societies with individual polymorphism (the phenomenon of different forms among the members of a single species or colony), and they contain insects of various ages, sizes, and shapes. The eusocial insects include termites (which belong to the order Blattodea) [Fig. 1], bees, wasps, and ants (the latter three types are members of the order Hymenoptera). See also: Blattodea; Hymenoptera; Insecta; Polymorphism (genetics); Population ecology; Social hierarchy; Sociobiology; Termite
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information