Title: Spite: Hamilton's unproven theory
Authors: Foster, Kevin R. ×
Wenseleers, Tom
Ratnieks, Francis L.W. #
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: Finnish Zoological and Botanical Pub. Board
Series Title: Annales Zoologici Fennici vol:38 issue:3-4 pages:229-238
Abstract: Thirty years ago Hamilton showed that spite, an action that harms a recipient at no direct benefit to the actor, could evolve if interactants were negatively related. Wilson later showed that spite could also evolve by indirect benefits to a third party. Since then, many selfish actions that are particularly harmful to the recipient have been called ‘spite’ but no convincing examples have been found. Here we discuss three examples of spite from the social insects: worker policing, sex allocation biasing by workers and green beard queen killing in the fire ant. All examples are Wilsonian spite and the last example is also Hamiltonian spite. Spite will be harder to identify in other animals because actions that seem mutually harmful may have delayed reproductive benefits. Spite may prove to be more common at the genetic level than the individual level because negative relatedness can more easily arise. Two possible examples, cytoplasmic incompatibility and maternal-effect lethal distorter genes, are discussed.
ISSN: 0003-455X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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