Polistes paper wasps: a model genus for the study of social dominance hierarchies

  title={Polistes paper wasps: a model genus for the study of social dominance hierarchies},
  author={Jennifer M. Jandt and Elizabeth A. Tibbetts and Amy L. Toth},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
Polistes are an ideal system to study ultimate and proximate questions of dominance, and to test theoretical predictions about social evolution. The behaviors typically associated with dominance in Polistes are similar to those observed in many vertebrate societies. Here, we review recent ethological, mechanistic, and evolutionary studies on how social dominance hierarchies are established and maintained in Polistes spp. From the ultimate perspective, we address individual and group benefits of… 
Queen succession conflict in the paper wasp Polistes dominula is mitigated by age-based convention
Evidence is provided that queen succession in colonies of the European paper wasp Polistes dominula is determined via convention rather than contest, with little disruption to the colony’s social functioning, and that behavioral responses to queen removal are restricted to the oldest individuals rather than being experienced equally across the group.
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.
Candidate genes for cooperation and aggression in the social wasp Polistes dominula
A candidate gene approach is used to investigate the patterns of expression of key genes for cooperation and aggression in the brain of a primitively eusocial wasp, Polistes dominula, during colony founding, when multiple foundresses can join the same nest and establish subtle hierarchies of dominance.
Phylogenetics And Molecular Evolution Of Highly Eusocial Wasps
The findings of this study challenge the predominant understanding of evolutionary relationships in the Vespinae and show that yellowjacket genera are not sister lineages, instead recovering Dolichovespula as more closely related to the hornets, and placing Vespula as sister to all other vespine genera.
High indirect fitness benefits for helpers across the nesting cycle in the tropical paper wasp Polistes canadensis
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The build-up of dominance hierarchies in eusocial insects
It is described how the emergence of dominance hierarchies can be understood as a kind of self-organizing process through individual memory and local behavioural interactions, and how the resulting global structures can be captured by using network analyses.
Wasps ( Family : Vespidae )
Mechanisms that influence the development of reproductive castes—in both larval and adult stages—and mechanisms that influence non-reproductive division of labour among workers are explored.
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.
Polistes metricus queens exhibit personality variation and behavioral syndromes
This study tests Polistes metricus (Vespidae; Polistinae) paper wasp queens for the presence of repeatable variation in, and correlations between, several commonly used personality metrics: boldness, aggressiveness, exploration, and activity.


Prehibernating aggregations of Polistes dominulus: an occasion to study early dominance assessment in social insects
It is demonstrated that in a given pair, it is more likely that the dominant wasp in autumn becomes the alpha female in spring after the nest foundation phase occurred, and it is showed that dominant females in clusters have both larger body size and ovaries.
Reproduction in foundress associations of the social wasp, Polistes carolina: conventions, competition, and skew
The persistence of some aggressive conflict throughout the foundress period suggests that this convention is not absolute, and Reproductive partitioning in early P. carolina colonies may have more to do with enhancing worker production than with conflict over direct fitness.
Queen Succession in the Social Wasp, Polistes annularis
This experiment simulated natural queen disappearance which occurs frequently and recorded individuals' behavior before and after removal of the queen from 13 nests, finding no evidence of conflict between workers and foundresses when a foundress became queen.
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.
Cuticular hydrocarbons and reproductive status in the social wasp Polistes dominulus
It is suggested that cuticular hydrocarbons are used as cues of ovarian activity in P. dominulus, and the results are discussed in terms of a switch from behavioral dominance to chemical signaling in this wasp.
Limiting the movements of a despotic queen to a limited region on the nest showed that physical contact or very near approach is necessary for queen control in this species.
Dispersal decisions and predispersal behavior in Polistes paper wasp ‘workers’
  • E. Tibbetts
  • Environmental Science
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2007
It is found that P. dominulus females with short nest tenure behave much like gynes (reproductive-destined offspring produced at the end of the season), as wasps with long nest tenure are behaviorally selfish while on the natal colony.
Worker reproductive competition affects division of labor in a primitively social paperwasp (Polistes instabilis)
It is concluded that worker reproductive competition may have influenced the evolution of colony organization in social insects and that worker interactions play a strong role in regulating task performance.
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.