Organization and regulation of work in the social insect colony

Jennifer Fewell (March 17, 2011)

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Division of labor, the way in which social groups distribute work among their individual members, is a product of self organization and selection. A basic system of division of labor can be produced even in artificial associations of normally solitary individuals and fits simple rules of interaction. In social insect colonies, however, the process of division of labor reflects the integration of the colony itself. I will discuss how division of labor changes with increased group size within social insect (primarily ant) colonies and discuss a network subgraph approach for capturing colony integration and regulation within social insect colonies s.