Data from: The evolutionary dynamics of adaptive virginity, sex-allocation and altruistic helping in haplodiploid animals

  • Petri Rautiala (Contributor)
  • Heikki Helantera (Contributor)
  • Mikael Puurtinen (Contributor)



In haplodiploids, females can produce sons from unfertilized eggs without mating. However, virgin reproduction is usually considered to be a result of a failure to mate, rather than an adaptation. Here we build an analytical model for evolution of virgin reproduction, sex-allocation, and altruistic female helping in haplodiploid taxa. We show that when mating is costly (e.g. when mating increases predation risk), virginity can evolve as an adaptive female reproductive strategy. Furthermore, adaptive virginity results in strongly divergent sex-ratios in mated and virgin queen nests (‘split sex ratios’), which promotes the evolution of altruistic helping by daughters in mated queen nests. However, when helpers evolve to be efficient and increase nest production significantly, virgin reproduction is selected against. Our results suggest that adaptive virginity could have been an important stepping stone on the pathway to eusociality in haplodiploids. We further show that virginity can be an adaptive reproductive strategy also in primitively social haplodiploids if workers bias the sex ratio toward females. By remaining virgin, queens are free to produce sons, the more valuable sex in a female-biased population. Our work brings a new dimension to the studies linking reproductive strategies with social evolution.,Suplementary informationSuplementary informationSI clean.docx,
Date made available1 Jan 2017

Cite this