A place for everything and everything in its place: Spatial organization of wasps on the nests of the primitively eusocial paper wasp Ropalidia marginata
In my thesis, I found that queens and workers in the primitively eusocial paper wasp Ropalidia marginata use space on their nests non-randomly with a majority of individuals showing spatial fidelity to small core areas, in spite of the brood itself being randomly distributed. Such non-random space use appears to be a prophylactic measure against the spread of infection. I also found that centrally located larvae are preferably fed and wasps optimize feeding routes but do not spatially segregate when feeding larvae in parallel within a feeding bout probably to build-in redundancy and avoid larvae going hungry. Understanding the spatial organization of food transfer may be a key to understanding how insect societies achieve efficient social organization and division of labour.