Behavioral flexibility in hymenoptera: a re-examination of the concept of caste
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): P. Calabi
Editor(s): J. C. Trager
Publication Year: 1988

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • habits and behavior
  • hymenoptera
  • insects
  • Pheidole
  • size classes
  • Solenopsis invicta
  • wildlife management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46253
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21941
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers Author File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text (p.246) ... 'In sum, because it was seen as deviation from the adaptive 'norm', behavioral flexibility in the class/task association among social insect workers initially was considered to be noise with respect to division of labor and ergonomic efficiency. However, its apparent universality is pushing flexibility from the peripheral position of noise or imperfection to the central focus of demographic studies. It has been found in soil insects wherever it has been sought, and serendipitously as well. I have suggested that the seeming conflict between class-based division of labor and the behavioral 'deviations' from it due to flexibility and task-switching can be resolved by considering both to be adaptive expressions along a single continuum, but functioning and under selection on different time scales. And I have presented a model to assess the relative expression of each, as well as a mechanism by which either can be elicited, as appropriate.'

Calabi, P. 1988. Behavioral flexibility in hymenoptera: a re-examination of the concept of caste, in JC Trager ed., Advances in myrmecology. New York, E.J. Brill, p. 237-258.