This first comprehensive study of social insects since the 1930s includes more than 250 illustrations and covers all aspects of classification, evolution, anatomy, physiology, and behavior of the social insects—social wasps and bees, ants, termites. Since the publication of W. M. Wheeler’s The Social Insects in 1928 and Franz Maidl’s Die Lebensgewohnheiten und Instinkte der staatenbikdenden Insekten in 1934, the literature on social insects has increased enormously, and new ways of studying insect societies have developed. Edward O. Wilson reinterprets the knowledge of the subject through the concepts of modern biology—from IOC chemistry to evolutionary theory and population ecology. He reviews the evolution of parental care and other primitive forms of social behavior throughout the arthropods and includes full coverage of various forms of symbiosis between the social insects and other anthropods. He also compares insect and vertebrate societies in basic theoretical terms, showing how a unified sociobiology is possible if developed as a branch of population biology.