Biodiversity

Monday, May 08, 2006

DESCRIPTION OF THE FORMS OF SOCIAL LIFE IN INSECTS

Insects are invertebrates. Invertebrates are insects without backbone. Insects are thought to have a variety of social behaviours. Some of the social behaviours which are found in insects include living together in ''large groups, communication, sharing of the food, feeding and protecting the young insects and the eggs'' (Wikipedia contributors, 2006). The above mentioned behaviours are usually found in bees, ants, wasps and termites. The permanent living together of the insects is known as the colonies. This means that by living together, they also work for the survival.


In insects, ''females are usually the once who are responsible in the finding of the social colonies'' (Lang, 2006: 1). The single female insect which is usually the founder of the social colony is termed the queen. It is termed the queen because after mating is the one which builds the nests where it will start with the laying of the eggs. After the young insects have been raised, they take the responsibilities of the queen, so that the queen may continue with her concentration on her reproduction.


Unlike in other insects, in the other colonies of the honey bees, there are three divisions. They are divided into the workers, queen and drones. Male honey bees are termed drones, while their female counterparts are termed sterile. Lang (2006: 2) further says that ants and termites are also divided into two groups which is soldiers and workers. Workers and soldiers have different functions to perform. The function of the soldiers is usually to defend the habitat or the nest. While on the other side the function of the workers is to store food which has already been gathered and the release of the sugar in case where the food is hard to be found.


One of the most significance of the social behaviour of the insects is communication. Insects do communicate. It is said that during darkness and in the crowd while they are in the nest, touch and smell are the most usefully used in conveying the messages. During the sending of the messages, the ''queen as the mother of the nest release pheromones which is a chemical used to stimulate other members of the colony to act as unit among themselves'' (Wikipedia contributors, 2006). The formation of the cohesion among the insects also helps them when the foreign insects get into their nest, because it will be attacked immediately after entering the nest.


As sharing seem unlikely human beings, in insects sharing in significance. This is because insects usually share information about the food. This is done by workers when they enter and leave the nest. By doing so, workers make contact to be able to find where the other insects have gathered their food. In ants, tracks that lead to the place where the food is available are made. In honey bees, the direction of where the food is found is made by making unusual dances to show others the direction where the food has been found.


In conclusion one can say that, even though there is a huge different between the insects and human beings when coming to the social behaviour, but there is a slight similarities such as the taking care of the nest by the queen. Taking care of the nest by the queen is similar to the care taken by the female in homes.

References:


Wikipedia contributors. Insects [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 8, 12:27 UCT [cited 2006 May 6]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insects

Wikipedia contributors. Arthropod [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 3, 12: 47 UCT [cited 2006 May 6]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthropod

Lang, S. S. 2006. Social behaviour of sweet bees evolved with Earth's a mere 20million years ago, Cornell study finds. [Online]. Available from: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/March06/social.bees.evolution.ssl.html


Peter Muvhali
CSIR PTA
0001
Tell no 012 8142133
Fax 012 8423676
E-mail smuvhali@csir.co.za

weblog: http://blogsoccer-peter.blogspot.com/

1 Comments:

  • As always, grammar...Try to stick to one topic per paragraph. You have a fair grasp of the topic, but your writing is a bit unfocussed. Your references are a bit disappointing - they're both Wiki, they're highly restricted, and the Arthtopod one is prett muchtotally irrelevant. Why not references that relate directly to social behaviour or something? Oh, and your blog address was entered incorrectly...

    Nick

    By Blogger NcK, at May 17, 2006 9:39 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home