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Usurpations and late associations in the solitary founding social wasp, Polistes biglumis bimaculatus



Usurpations and late associations in the solitary founding social wasp, Polistes biglumis bimaculatus



Journal of Insect Behavior 8(4): 443-451



One hundred twenty-five colonies of a population of the montane, haplometrotic, paper wasp Polistes biglumis bimaculatus were marked for identification and then periodically surveyed during an entire summer period. This made it possible to record intraspecific nest usurpations (both single and multiple) and to observe associations between two females, defined here as "late associations". Both usurpation and late association occurred primarily in the latter half of the preemergence period. Some evidence suggests that a foundress usurps a conspecific nest as a consequence of her own nest failure. After nest failure, usurpation and late association are the only available options for achieving reproductive success because, in the mountain habitat, the short summer does not allow for successful renesting. Late associations generally occurred earlier than usurpation. However, our evidence suggests that nest usurpation and late association may be the same phenomenon.

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Accession: 034166728

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