Effect of Human Disturbance on Colony Productivity of the Social Wasp Polistes versicolor Olivier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Romario Ferreira Torres, Viviana de Oliveira Torres, Yzel Rondon Súarez, William Fernando Antonialli-Junior

Abstract


Currently, the main impacts on biodiversity are generated by human activities in natural environments. Monitoring the number of species of social wasps nesting attached to buildings is important to evaluate the effect of this activity on colony productivity. This study evaluated the effect of human activity on the productivity of colonies of the wasp Polistes versicolor. We evaluated 20 abandoned nests and compared the productivity parameters: number of cells constructed, number of adults produced, nest dry mass, proportion of productive cells, number of generations, height of central and peripheral cells, and diameter of the petiole. Most of these parameters showed higher values in the colonies nesting in the area of low human activity. Therefore, productivity was significantly higher in the area with low human activity. In the nests, regardless of the site, the cells that were central and closer to the petiole were the most productive. Colonies in the two areas used different strategies: in the area of intense human activity, the wasps invested more in reusing cells than in enlarging the nest. However, the species continues to nest in the urban area, probably because of decreased interspecific competition, predation, and interference from climate variations.


Keywords


Nest, Independent foundation, Polistinae, Reutilization of cells, Synanthropy.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i1.100-106

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