Hypothesized requirements: tolerance, reduced dispersal, recognize common cues,
Some mimimum variation in intial sensitivity and/or feedback loops
Tolerance, reduced dispersal, recognize common cues:
1) Comparative approach a literature review to compare tolerance of related species with varying degrees of sociality.
2) Laboratory assays to manipulate solitary and pre-social species (such as bees). Attempt to develop the different characteristics of social behavior in solitary species and also rear social insects in isolation. First example: determine conditions that increase tolerance sufficiently to share a nest and observe the emergence of division of labor (change in propensity to do certain tasks). Second example: Take individuals from colonies and rear them in isolation. Compare their propensity to perform tasks to that of former nestmates. Prediction is that they will be lest specialized than their former nestmates.
3) RT: Measure response thresholds of solitary and social individuals in a facultatively social species. Would be difficult. Need good assays!
4) Amplification: Manipulate individuals that are specialists by putting them together to measure the degree of amplification in task specialization. Use individuals from colonies of different size of the same species and individuals from related species. Measure amplification as an alteration in propensity to perform tasks (to specialize). Hypothesis is that amplification is an emergent property of group life.
5) What traits make social species more efficient?
6) Test the hypothesis that selection at the group level has resulted in more complexity in hydrocarbon profiles: Use comparative approach by looking at HC profiles of social bees reared in isolation compared to related non-social species.