Laboratory studies of the mating biology of the eastern yellow jacket vespula maculifrons hymenoptera vespidae
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 56(4): 523-537
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-8567 Accession: 005788305
The mating behavior of V. maculifrons is described. Courtship and copulation are similar to that reported for other vespine species. Behavioral evidence suggests that a queen-produced pheromone attracts males and releases the mating behavior. The duration and significance of queen nibbling behavior is discussed in the context of a sperm-transfer signal. Some males are apparently unwilling to uncouple females when this signal is given; such behavior probably serves a mate-guarding function. Queens successfully mate after 48 h of age but are unable to fly until 4-6 days. Queens prefer siblings as mates when given a choice in mating trials. Sibling mating may be common in this species. In the laboratory, mating activity is inhibited by the absence of light. Both males and queens are capable of multiple matings.