Extreme Polygyny: Multi-seasonal “Hypergynous” Nesting in the Introduced Paper Wasp Polistes dominulus

  title={Extreme Polygyny: Multi-seasonal “Hypergynous” Nesting in the Introduced Paper Wasp Polistes dominulus},
  author={Aviva E. Liebert and Julia H. Hui and Peter Nonacs and Philip T B Starks},
  journal={Journal of Insect Behavior},
In temperate climates, female paper wasps typically initiate new colonies in the spring. Several nest-founding tactics have been documented in Polistes species, including solitary nest initiation, joining a cooperative association, usurping an existing nest, or adopting an abandoned nest. Occasionally, exceptionally large groups of females have also been found reusing nests from the previous season. Here we report this phenomenon in introduced populations of the Eurasian species Polistes… 

Reuse of old nests by the European paper wasp Polistes dominula (Hymenoptera Vespidae).

Although the majority of Polistes dominula foundresses prefer to start new colonies early in the spring, an eight percent of nests were reused in the population, suggesting that reusing old nests might allow foundresses to save energy and gain time, but in turn it might also impose additional costs such as the risk of incurring in a higher pathogen pressure.

Better colony performance, not natural enemy release, explains numerical dominance of the exotic Polistes dominula wasp over a native congener in South Africa

Contrary to expectation, the exotic species suffered significantly higher parasitism than the native species, however, P. dominula is able to reach much greater population size than P. marginalis despite higher parasitoid pressure and similar individual size due to better colony performance.

Sexual interactions and nestmate recognition in invasive populations of Polistes dominulus wasps

Sexual interactions and nestmate recognition in male and female P. dominulus are investigated and successful copulations were very rare and occurred between non-nestmates and nestmates, and are discussed within the context of invasion biology.

Mating system and genetic structure in the paper wasp (Polistes humilis)

Analysis of genotypic data from four microsatellite loci provided no evidence of males siring offspring in their natal colony and heterozygote excesses within most colonies suggest that this form of outbreeding is typical in P. humilis.

Polistes smithii vs. Polistes dominula: the contrasting endocrinology and epicuticular signaling of sympatric paper wasps in the field

The divergence of endocrine and chemical profiles within Polistes offers an unforeseen opportunity to study the evolution of proximate mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity.

Ecological effects and management of invasive alien Vespidae

The social structure of colonies and their high reproductive efficiency have facilitated invasion by these species, but it also means management at the population level will be difficult, which emphasises the need to prevent such invasions from occurring in the first place.

The Invasive Vespidae in South Africa: Potential Management Strategies and Current Status

Various control methods, including mechanical, chemical and biological control have been developed and implemented internationally in an effort to curb population expansion of social wasps.

Prey capture and caste-specific payload capacities in the European paper wasp Polistes dominulus

It is shown that wasp body mass is significantly positively correlated with payload capacity in foundresses, a relationship not seen among workers or late reproductives, suggesting a beneficial adaptation of foundresses for combating early season pressures associated with the foundation of a new colony.

Pro dutividade e m co lô nias de Po lis t e s (Ap hanilo p t e rus ) ve rs ico lo r Olivie r, 17 91 (Hyme no pte ra: Ve spidae , Polis tinae )

From August 2000 to Dece mber 2003, 185 colonies of Polistes versicolor were observed at the Bioterio of the Instituto de Biociencias, UNESP, Ca mpus de Rio Claro, SP and it was not possible to obtain the numbe r of me conia.

Origin of an evolutionary novelty: the worker phenotype of eusocial wasps

How paper wasps’ allomaternal non-reproductive worker phenotype originates in every colony cycle via confluence of multiple factors of paper wasp biology is shown, showing that relatedness among colony members is not the target of selection in simple eusociality.



Solitary nesting and reproductive success in the paper wasp Polistes aurifer

Examination of the success of different nesting strategies in a previously unstudied population of Polistes aurifer in southern California suggests that this low rate of cooperative nest founding is adaptive, as demonstrated by the lack of survival or productivity advantages for cooperative foundress associations.

Genetics, behavior and ecology of a paper wasp invasion : Polistes dominulus in North America

A review of this ongoing invasion of the European paper wasp Polistes dominulus into North America in terms of population genetic variation in P. dominulus, and data from comparative studies where the two species are sympatric and possible mechanisms contributing to the differences between them is reviewed.

A Surprising Level of Genetic Diversity in an Invasive Wasp: Polistes dominulus in the Northeastern United States

The results support immediate identification of genetic diversity in an invasion population before the occurrence of secondary introductions as an essential part of managing and controlling invasive species.

Diploid males and their triploid offspring in the paper wasp Polistes dominulus

Evidence that both diploid males and triploid females remain undetected throughout the colony cycle is presented, which is particularly relevant for introduced populations with few alleles at the sex-determining locus but cannot be ignored in native populations without supporting genetic data.

Parasitoids, Predators, and Group Size in the Paper Wasp, Polistes Exclamans

The paper wasp Polistes exclamans loses part of its brood to the parasitoids Chalcoela iphitalis (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae) and Elasmus polistis (Hymenoptera:Chalcidoidea:Eulophidae) and loses entire

Seasonal variations in the size and anatomy of Polistes gallicus (L.) (Hymenoptera Vespidae).

SUMMARY In Polistes gallicus (L.) (Hymenoptera Vespidae) as in other species of the same genus, there is a gradual increase in body size of the females (foundresses and workers) during the summer. In

A novel ‘sit and wait’ reproductive strategy in social wasps

  • P. Starks
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1998
Evidence is presented indicating that a subset of spring females in the social wasp Polistes dominulus ‘sit and wait’ to adopt colonies initiated and abandoned by other conspecifics, the first to demonstrate conclusively this alternative reproductive strategy in social wasps.

Unrelated helpers in a social insect

Microsatellite markers are used to reveal an unexpected and unique social system in what is probably the best-studied social wasp, Polistes dominulus, which is functionally unlike other social insects, but similar to certain vertebrate societies, in which the unrelated helpers gain through inheritance of a territory or a mate.

Benefits of foundress associations in the paper wasp Polistes dominulus: increased productivity and survival, but no assurance of fitness returns

Experimentally demonstrate one major benefit of cooperation, namely that multiple foundresses increase colony productivity, and suggest that cooperation provides survival benefits, multiple-foundress colonies are more likely to survive to produce offspring than are single-foundresses colonies, and individual foundresses in multiple- foundress groups are less likely to disappear before worker emergence than foundresses nesting alone.

Natural history and evolution of paper-wasps

The evolution of eusociality, including a review of the social status of Ropalidia marignata, and behavioural screening and the evolution of polygyny in paper wasps.