Eusociality (from Greek εὖ eu "good" and social), the highest level of organization of sociality, is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care (including care of offspring from other individuals), overlapping generations within a colony of adults, and a division of labor into reproductive and non-reproductive groups. The division of labor creates specialized behavioral groups within an animal society which are sometimes referred to as 'castes'. Eusociality is distinguished from all other social systems because individuals of at least one caste usually lose the ability to perform at least one behavior characteristic of individuals in another caste. Eusocial colonies can be viewed as superorganisms.
Eusociality exists in certain insects, crustaceans, and mammals. It is mostly observed and studied in the Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps) and in Isoptera (termites). A colony has caste differences: queens and reproductive males take the roles of the sole reproducers, while soldiers and workers work together to create a living situation favorable for the brood. In addition to Hymenoptera and Isoptera, there are two known eusocial vertebrates among rodents: the naked mole-rat and the Damaraland mole-rat. Some shrimp, such as Synalpheus regalis, are also eusocial. E. O. Wilson and others have claimed that humans have evolved a weak form of eusociality, but these arguments have been disputed.
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