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eusocialeusozial (ger.)

  • Characterized by, pertaining to, or designating an advanced level of social behaviour in animals, spec. that occurring in certain species of social insect. (OED 1993)
    social behaviour eusociality

    Various types of nesting behavior are recognized: (1) subsocial or solitary behavior, in which parents care for their young but die before they reach maturity; (2) colonial or communal behavior, when several females share a nest, but each constructs, provisions and oviposits in her own cells; (3) semisocial behavior, when groups of females of the same generation (sisters or unrelated) share a nest, with division of labor (see Michener, 1958); (4) eusocial behavior, in which the nest-founding parent survives to cooperate with a group of her mature daughters, with division of labor.

    Batra, S.W.T. (1966). Nests and social behavior of halictine bees of India (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Indian Journal of Entomology 28, 375-393: 375.


    Eusocial groups.[…] In subsocial groups, two generations are involved, but one of them as immatures. Truly social or eusocial hymenoptera, however, are those living in colonies which are matrifilial family groups, consisting of individuals of two generations, mothers and daughters

    Michener, C.D. (1969). Comparative social behavior of bees. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 14, 299-342: 305.


    The ‘truly’ social insects, or eusocial insects as they are sometimes more technically labeled, include ants, all termites, and the more highly organized bees and wasps.

    Wilson, E.O. (1971). The Insect Societies: 4.


    A eusocial colony consists of adults of two generations, the queen being the mother of the workers

    Lin, N. & Michener, C.D. (1972). Evolution in social insects, Quart. Rev. Biol. 47, 131-159: 134.


    eusocial Used of a social group in which members are fully integrated and cooperate in caring for young, with non-reproductive individuals assisting those involved in producing offspring, and in which different generations contributing to colony labour overlap; eusocialitycf. presocial.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 87.