Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Biological Journal Of The Linnean Society
Eusocial societies are defined by a reproductive division of labour between breeders and nonbreeders that is often accompanied by morphological differentiation. Some eusocial taxa are further characterized by a subdivision of tasks among nonbreeders, often resulting in morphological differentiation among different groups (subcastes) that specialize on different sets of tasks. We investigated the possibility of morphological castes in eusocial shrimp colonies (Zuzalpheus, formerly part of Synalpheus) by comparing growth allometry and body proportions of three eusocial shrimp species with three pair-forming species (species where reproductive females and males occur in equal sex ratios). Allometry of eusocial species differed in several respects from that of pair-forming species in both lineages. First, allometry of fighting claw size among individuals other than female breeders was steeper in eusocial than in pair-forming species. Second, breeding females in eusocial colonies had proportionally smaller weapons (fighting claws) than females in pair-forming species. Finally, claw allometry changed with increasing colony size in eusocial species; large colonies showed a diphasic allometry of fighting claw and finger size, indicating a distinctive group of large individuals possessing relatively larger weapons than other colony members. Shrimp are thus similar to other eusocial animals in the morphological differentiation between breeders and nonbreeders, and in the indication that some larger nonbreeders might contribute more to defence than others. (C) 2008 The Linnean Society of London.
Snapping Shrimp; Ant Colonies; Eusociality; Synalpheus; Size; Selection; Decapoda; Belize; Reef; Heterochaelis
Toth, E and Duffy, JE, Influence of sociality on allometric growth and morphological differentiation in sponge-dwelling alpheid shrimp (2008). Biological Journal Of The Linnean Society, 94(3), 527-540.