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Organisation et fonctionnement des groupes sociaux chez une blatte grégaire : un autre modèle de société d’insectes

Abstract : The study of social evolution is traditionally linked to the study of the most integrated societies. Key theories in insect sociobiology have been based mainly on the functioning rules of eusocial species, while the great majority of non-eusocial species were neglected, although their study is a necessary step to improve our understanding of social evolution. In this context, cockroaches constitute a good model because of their phylogenetic proximity with solitary as well as eusocial species. My thesis focused on the analysis of the organization and functioning of social groups in a gregarious cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). An interdisciplinary approach including ethology, behavioural ecology, chemical ecology and mathematical modeling, enabled me to highlight the main characteristics of social life of this species. I demonstrated interdependence of group members related to physiological and behavioural group effects, thus stressing the importance of social relations and gregariousness. I identified a kin recognition mechanism that shapes interactions among group members in relation to context (social or sexual). Then, I demonstrated the occurrence of cooperation between group members to exploit food resources, based on a self-organized collective decision mechanism underlying recruitment. My results evidence that B. germanica is more than just a gregarious insect, as their aggregates form real social groups involving communication and cooperation. All my data allow me to present another model of insect society that can be qualified as a ‘mixed-family herd’ when group-living is primarily based on ecological benefits. Our results offer promising perspectives for the study of social evolution in insects.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01147410
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 12:21:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:49 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01147410, version 1

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Mathieu Lihoreau. Organisation et fonctionnement des groupes sociaux chez une blatte grégaire : un autre modèle de société d’insectes. Biodiversité et Ecologie. Université de Rennes 1, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-01147410⟩

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