Caste Flexibility and Variation according to the Colony Cycle in the Swarm-founding Wasp, Parachartergus fraternus (Gribodo) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Epiponini)

  title={Caste Flexibility and Variation according to the Colony Cycle in the Swarm-founding Wasp, Parachartergus fraternus (Gribodo) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Epiponini)},
  author={Sidnei Mateus and Fernando B. Noll and Ronaldo Zucchi},
Abstract Differences between castes and related aspects in Parachartegus fraternus (Gribodo) have been studied in various stages of the colony cycle. Five colonies from three colony development stages (namely, pre-emergence, worker-producing and male-producing) were analyzed. The main results were: irrespective of colony age, castes were always morphologically indistinguishable; non-inseminated ovary-developed females were found in four colonies; because differences of castes were physiological… 

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The tribe Epiponini comprehends the swarm-founding Neotropical wasps, with several species endemic to Brazil, which are extremely important in studies of social evolution of wasps. The Epiponini

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The results suggest that queens and workers of Epiponini wasps are chemically different from each other at two levels, qualitatively and quantitatively, or merely quantitatively.

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Investigation of factors that indicate the reproductive status in females of Polistes ferreri Saussure found that the queens were among the older females in the colony and were always inseminated, while the age of the workers varied according to the stage of colony development.

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Some females previously categorized as queens, were actually workers, supported by the statistic analyses, and showed intermediate morphological features between queens and workers, having distinct patterns of hairs and clypeal spots.

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It is shown, for the first time, that non‐size‐based morphological divergence between queens and workers occurs in Parachartergus, an epiponine genus once believed to have little or no morphological caste differences.

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Increasing caste differences related to life cycle progression in some neotropical swarm-founding polygynic polistine wasps (Hymenoptera Vespidae Epiponini)

Morphological analyses of female wasps collected at different points in the development of the colonial life cycle showed that in Polybia occidentalis, P. paulista and P. scutellaris, caste

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It is proposed that variation in caste differences in Metapolybia docilis may be due to differential growth rates of body parts rather than to queens being larger in size, similar to other previously observed epiponines.

Morphological caste differences in the neotropical swarm-founding Polistinae wasps: Agelaia m. A. multipicta and A. p. pallipes (Hymenoptera Vespidae)

Distinct size dimorphism was found between queens and workers sampled from mature colonies of Agelaia pallipes and A. multipicta, giving clear-cut evidence of caste, a conclusion which is strengthened by the absence of intermediate females.

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Caste differences in polistine wasps and in particular in the polygynous colonies of the neotropical Epiponini are discussed.

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Queens of the social, swarm-founding wasp Epipona guerini are larger than workers in each of 13 morphometric variables. Multivariate analyses revealed that 6 of the variables contribute significantly

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