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Module Reading List

Social Insect Biology, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr Elizabeth Duncan
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

This course will primarily rely on scientific literature (published peer-reviewed papers) rather than textbooks and the following papers are core reading for this course. 

Gruter, C., Keller, L., 2016. Inter-caste communication in social insects. Curr Opin Neurobiol 38, 6-11.  

Nowak, M.A., Tarnita, C.E., Wilson, E.O., 2010. The evolution of eusociality. Nature 466, 1057-1062.  

Note that this paper by Nowak et al., was quite controversial and resulted in a number of 'responses' from researchers in the social insect community - these are well worth reading too!

Sumner, S., Bell, E., Taylor, D., 2018. A molecular concept of caste in insect societies. Curr Opin Insect Sci 25, 42-50.  

Taylor, B.A., Reuter, M., Sumner, S., 2019. Patterns of reproductive differentiation and reproductive plasticity in the major evolutionary transition to superorganismality. Curr Opin Insect Sci 34, 40-47.  



Having said that, there are some really good books that are relevant for this course and are available in the library (see list below).  These texts are not "core reading" but parts of them may be useful to support your learning in this course.

Bourke, A. F. G. & Franks, N. R. 1995. Social evolution in ants. Princeton University Press.

Bourke (2005) Genetics, relatedness and social behaviour in insect societies. Chapter in: Insect evolutionary ecology : proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society's 22nd Symposium (edited by Fellows, Holloway & Rolff). CABI Publishing.

Hölldobler, B., Wilson, E.O. 1990. The ants. Harvard University Press.

Hölldobler, B., Wilson, E.O. 1994. Journey to the ants : a story of scientific exploration. Harvard University Press.

Wilson, E. O. 1971. The insect societies. Harvard University Press.

Wilson 1975.  Sociobiology : the new synthesis. Harvard Univ Press

Winston, 1987.  The biology of the honey bee.. Harvard Univ Press

Costa, J. T. 2006. The other insect societies. Harvard Univ Press

Choe, J. C. & Crespi, B. J. 1997. The evolution of social behavior in insects and arachnids Cambridge Univ Press.

Ross, K. G. & Matthews, R. W. 1991.The Social biology of wasps. Cornell Univ Press

Schmid-Hempel, P. 1998. Parasites in social insects. Princeton Univ Press


This list was last updated on 03/08/2021