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Animal Social Networks$
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Jens Krause, Richard James, Daniel W. Franks, and Darren P. Croft

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.001.0001

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Social networks in insect colonies

Social networks in insect colonies

(p.160) Chapter 15 Social networks in insect colonies
Animal Social Networks

Dhruba Naug

Oxford University Press

Social insect colonies have been long admired and studied for their remarkable group-level properties such as division of labour, collective foraging, and information sharing, each of which largely emerges from bottom-up processes at the level of the individuals, without any central control or supervision. These colonies critically rely on social interactions for functional integration, which involves the transfer of materials and information to coordinate worker activities. The pattern of social interactions in the entire colony can be viewed in terms of a network, the structural and functional properties of which can give important insights into several colony level properties. This review provides a synthesis of several studies that have used such an analytical approach to understand colony functioning. It also outlines some of the current challenges facing this approach, and the possible research areas that might benefit from a network view of the colony.

Keywords:   social interactions, division of labour, information sharing, network, insect colonies

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