A founder-controlled, social wasp assemblage, and a recent severe fall in numbers
Keywords:Species richness, founder control, central Brazil, Hymenoptera, Polistinae, Vespidae, species losses
The 35 species of social wasps surveyed in an 8 ha plot in the Cabeça de Veado valley near Brasilia (1979 and 1997) averaged 17.9 species per survey. From 1/3 to 1/2 of the species disappeared between consecutive surveys and only two were present in every survey. On average, 43% of the 40 species known to inhabit the valley were recorded on each survey. This high rate of turn-over demonstrates that the wasps comprised a “founder-controlled” assemblage. On two more surveys, nine species were recorded in 2010 and ten in 2015; numbers which reflect recent reports on the global trend of losses of social wasps.
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