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Schmidt sting pain index - Wikipedia
The Schmidt sting pain index arose from the pursuit of a larger hypothesis: that the evolution of sociality in Hymenoptera was dependent on the evolution of venom that was both painful and toxic.[16] Pain is an advertisement of damage in the body, but molecules that produce pain and those that are toxic, and actively cause damage, are not the same. Although the painful signal acts as a deterrent, intelligent predators will learn the dishonesty of this signal with repeated exposure – that there is no real damage being done.[17] For the early Hymenoptera that were primarily solitary, the pain alone would allow them the chance to escape. Furthermore, solitary insects do not provide a high energy reward for predators, and therefore predators do not expend significant effort to hunt them. However, with the evolution of sociality where many Hymenoptera cluster together in colonies, nests become a nutritionally rich and therefore worthwhile target.[18] If there were no defenses, predators would devour the defenseless society, leaving few surviving individuals and eliminating social reproduction.[17] Sociality would therefore not be beneficial. In order for sociality to evolve, Hymenoptera needed a defense beyond a painful sting to protect their whole colony. Their sting was an advertisement of damage, and toxicity evolved as its truth.
evoscidebate  insects  medicine  psychology 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer

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