Nesting Behaviour of a Neotropical Social Wasp Mischocyttarus saussurei Zikán, 1949 (Hymenoptera, Vespidae)
Keywords:Mischocyttarini, Camouflage, Nest, Bryophytes, Hepatics
Mischocyttarus saussurei nests show a curious architectural pattern which could be related to colony camouflage. Since information on that species is scarce in literature, this study aimed to record ecological data on M. saussurei, as well as morphometric data on its nests. Data was collected at the Parque Estadual do Ibitipoca state park and at the municipalities of Barroso and Inconfidentes, Minas Gerais state, Southeastern Brazil. Seven colonies were located, exclusively in conserved environments. Five nests were dissected for morphometric analysis and for the assessment of the vegetal matter incorporated to comb walls. Nests showed comb cells opening towards the substrate and covered by vegetal layers, in which three families of mosses and three of liverworts could be identified. We deduct that the nests’ morphometry and the incorporation of vegetal layers to the combs are related to the camouflaging of colonies amidst their substrate.
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