Occurrence and nesting behavior of social wasps in an anthropized environment


  • Rafael Carvalho da Silva University of São Paulo - USP
  • Amanda Prato da Silva University of São Paulo - USP
  • Diego Santana Assis University of São Paulo - USP
  • Fabio Santos Nascimento University of São Paulo - USP




Synanthropism, Polistinae wasps, Conservation, Nesting substrate,


Some effort had been made concerning the social biodiversity of wasps in Brazil; however, few approaches have been made relating to how this taxa have adapted their nesting behavior to anthropic mixed environments. Thus, the present work aimed to survey the occurrence of social wasps in an anthropic area and their relationship with different types of nesting substrates. Increasing the knowledge of social wasps in anthropic areas would allow us to develop strategies for their conservation and management. Twenty long-term surveys were made at the Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto campus, São Paulo State. During the searches, we collected information about wasp species and nesting substrate. A total of 20 species of 8 genera were identified, and a total of 431 active colonies were registered. Epiponini was the richest in terms of species richness. On the other hand, Mischocyttarini was represented by more active colonies. Mischocyttarus cerberus had a remarkably greater number of colonies, which agreed with the idea of preference of anthropic environments by independent founding wasps. Nesting behavior was associated with eight substrate categories. We observed that some species might express certain plasticity regarding their nesting substrate usage, whereas some expressed certain specificity. Facing the increase in the actual urbanization process and, consequently, habitat loss, this type of study might contribute towards better understanding how these insects are affected by altered environment. 


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Author Biographies

Rafael Carvalho da Silva, University of São Paulo - USP

Department of Biology, Ph.D. candidate

Amanda Prato da Silva, University of São Paulo - USP

Department of Biology, Ph.D. candidate

Diego Santana Assis, University of São Paulo - USP

Department of Biology, Ph.D. candidate

Fabio Santos Nascimento, University of São Paulo - USP

Department of Biology, Associate Professor


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How to Cite

da Silva, R. C., da Silva, A. P., Assis, D. S., & Nascimento, F. S. (2019). Occurrence and nesting behavior of social wasps in an anthropized environment. Sociobiology, 66(2), 381–388. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v66i2.4303



Research Article - Wasps