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The evolution of sociality in termites from cockroaches: A taxonomic and phylogenetic perspective

Abstract : Despite multiple studies and advances, sociality still puzzles evolutionary biologists in numerous ways, which might be partly addressed with the advent of sociogenomics. In insects, the majority of sociogenomic studies deal with Hymenoptera, one of the two groups that evolved eusociality with termites. But, to fully grasp the evolution of sociality, studies must obviously not restrict to eusocial lineages. Multiple kinds of social system transitions have been recorded and they all bring complementary insights. For instance, cockroaches, the closest relatives to termites, display a wide range of social interactions and evolved convergently subsocial behaviors (i.e., brood care). In this context, we emphasize the need for natural history, taxonomic, and phylogenetic studies. Natural history studies provide the foundations on which building hypotheses, whereas taxonomy provides the taxa to sample to test these hypotheses, and phylogenetics brings the historical framework necessary to test evolutionary scenarios of sociality evolution.
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Frédéric Legendre, Philippe Grandcolas. The evolution of sociality in termites from cockroaches: A taxonomic and phylogenetic perspective. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, Wiley, 2018, 330 (5), pp.279-287. ⟨10.1002/jez.b.22812⟩. ⟨mnhn-02520946⟩

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