Society insects

Gaden S. Robinson looks at The Other Insect Societies by James T. Costa, in the Times Literary Supplement:

Screenhunter_30_jul_26_0237Earwigs make good mothers; but they are not the insects that spring immediately to mind when the phrases “social insects”, “insect sociality” or “parental care” are used. Our thoughts turn instead to the complex, caste-driven societies of the ants, bees, wasps and termites. These are the famous socialites with the good PR, the celebrities of the insect social world, the names in the Hello! magazines of entomology. In this extraordinarily thorough book, James T. Costa sets the record straight and rebalances our view of sociality in insects by dealing with the neglected also-rans. Thirty-five years ago, E. O. Wilson carefully segregated what he termed the eusocial insects, the celebrities, from the many, many other groups that exhibit what Wilson describes as more generalized sociality. Costa draws the same line.

More here.