Females ofPolistes fuscatus possess a sex pheromone in the venom gland and sac. The pheromone attracts males from short distances and releases male copulatory behavior.
The venoms ofPolistes exclamans andP. fuscatus elicit alarm behavior and attract attacking wasps. The response is not species specific, for both hetero- and conspecific venoms elicit similar responses in both species. A test in a wind tunnel provided no support for the hypothesis that alarmed wasps release an alarm pheromone on the nest.