social insect

noun

Definition of social insect

:an insect (such as a termite or bee) that lives in a colony or community with other individuals of the same species
  • … a number of other entomologists prefer to view ant colonies and the societies of other social insects as more like superorganisms than communities of individualized organisms.
  • —Robert L. O'Connell
  • The evolution of worker behavior in the social insects is usually explained by kin selection: although workers do not produce offspring, they do reproduce their genes by aiding the reproduction of relatives.
  • —David C. Queller et al.

First Known Use of social insect

1847


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