Leaders benefit followers in the collective movement of a social sawfly

Hodgkin, L. K., Symonds, M. R. and Elgar, M. A. 2014, Leaders benefit followers in the collective movement of a social sawfly, Proceedings of the royal society B, vol. 281, no. 1796, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1700.

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Title Leaders benefit followers in the collective movement of a social sawfly
Author(s) Hodgkin, L. K.
Symonds, M. R.ORCID iD for Symonds, M. R. orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Elgar, M. A.
Journal name Proceedings of the royal society B
Volume number 281
Issue number 1796
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014-12
ISSN 1471-2954
Keyword(s) collective movement
consensus decision-making
larval aggregation
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Evolutionary Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary The challenges of maintaining cohesion while making collective decisions in social or aggregating insects can result in the emergence of a leader or leaders. Larval aggregations of the steel-blue sawfly Perga affinis forage nocturnally, and some larvae lead the aggregation on foraging trips more often than expected by chance. We investigated the relationship between these leader and follower roles by comparing the weight and growth of individual larvae with different roles. Our observations reveal no significant difference between the growth of leaders and followers, suggesting that the role of leadership may not provide direct foraging benefits. However, by experimentally manipulating the social structure of larval aggregations, we found that individuals within aggregations that comprise a mixture of leaders and followers enjoy higher growth rates than those in aggregations comprising a single behavioural type. These data demonstrate, for the first time, individual benefits to maintaining a balance of leader and follower roles within larval aggregations, and highlight the importance of considering the perspectives of both leaders and followers when investigating the evolutionary significance of this behavioural variation within animal groups.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2014.1700
Field of Research 060304 Ethology and Sociobiology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Royal Society Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072077

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