In social insects, substantial behavioral variation exists among individuals and across colonies. Here, we discuss the role of individual variation in shaping behavioral tendencies of social groups,and highlight gapsinour knowledge about the roleofthe social group in modulating individual behavioral tendencies. We summarize our knowledge of the genetic mechanisms underpinning these processes, and describe the use of genomic tools to better understand the influence of social context on individuals. We discuss rapid collective phasic transitions, in which a group of individuals engages in a common novel behavior together, as a potentially highly informative model system in which to comprehensively investigate the interplay between individual and group variation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science