Ambient Temperature Influences Geographic Changes in Nest and Colony Size of Polistes chinensis antennalis Pérez (Hymenoptera, Vespidae)

Satoshi Hozumi, Kazuyuki Kudô, Haruo Katakura, Sôichi Yamane


In some Polistes wasps, the foundresses build huge nests during the founding phase to improve the thermal condition of nests. This implies that Polistes wasps change their nesting manner in relation to ambient temperature. To test the hypothesis that nest size increases with latitude, colonies of Polistes chinensis were collected from 11 locations. Three nest parameters, the number of cells cell length and index of functional envelope, increased with latitude. The number of cells at the northernmost station was 60, which was 1.5 times more than in lower latitudes. Cell length increased by approximately 4 mm from low to high latitudes, indicating that extra-building in P. chinensis is remarkable in adding new cells. The number of first broods was not correlated with latitude, whereas the number of second brood increased with latitude because of the numerous cells built at high latitudes.


aper wasp, Polistes chinensis, geographic variation, nest architecture

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