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We know Aculeata is the Hymenoptera’s lineage where the ovipositor evolved into a venomous sting. However, most ants have lost this sting, as well as meliponine and some other bees.

Kerr & Lello (1962) say that “there are at least thirteen ways in which stingless [meliponine] bees protect themselves, making stings obsolete”. Since this subject is being researched for more than 50 years, we hope that some advances have been made in the understanding of this specific evolutionary change.

What's the evolutionary advantage for these groups to lose this apparently awesome defense system?

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    $\begingroup$ Does biology.stackexchange.com/q/35532/27148 help answer your question? $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 2 '20 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ It's not typically possible to do anything but speculate and tell just-so stories in these cases, which is why we have that canonical answer. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 2 '20 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ I voted to close for Hwk (how far did you get with your own research?) because the post Bryan mentions answers the question you are asking sufficiently. If there is something you have found that specifically contradicts or expands on that answer, I'd include it here. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 2 '20 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ @James I asked a question about evolution of Hymenoptera, not a general question about evolution. Kerr & Lello (1962) say (in the abstract) that "there are at least thirteen ways in which stingless bees protect themselves, making stings obsolete". However, Western science is not open to the public, and this site, which could be an option to that, is full of perfectionists like you trying to close perfectly valid questions. C'mon! $\endgroup$ – Rodrigo Dec 2 '20 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't? $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Dec 2 '20 at 23:13

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