Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Worker Wasps Grow Visual Brains, Queens Stay in Dark

Jan. 6, 2014 — A queen in a paperwasp colony largely stays in the dark. The worker wasps, who fly outside to seek food and building materials, see much more of the world around them. A new study indicates that the brain regions involved in sensory perception also develop differently in these castes, according to the different behavioral reliance on the senses. The study is published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
"The wasps in different castes within a colony don't differ much genetically. The differences we see show the signature of the environment on brain development," said Sean O'Donnell, PhD, a professor in Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences who led the study.

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