Ultimate Causes Why Do They Aggregate

In cockroaches, gregarious behavior has a wide range of potential benefits, ranging from the simple advantage of safety in numbers, to group effects that have physiological and life history consequences. There are, however, no inherent advantages to group living, and the opposite is often true. Group members compete for food, shelter, and mates, and may burden each other with diseases and parasites (Alexander, 1974). It is reasonable to assume that aggregation in any animal involves both positive and negative components, and that observed social groups are the result of the balance of the two (Iwao, 1967; Vehrencamp, 1983). Fitness biases within a group will vary with species, habitat, resources, the age, sex, and reproductive status of individuals, and the demographics of the population.

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