Social Wasps on Eugenia uniflora Linnaeus (Myrtaceae) Plants in the Urban Area of Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Gabriely Köerich Souza, Tiago Georg Pikart, Gabriel Castro Jacques, Ancidértion Antonio Castro, Marcos Magalhães De Souza, José Eduardo Serrão, José Cola Zanuncio

Abstract


Social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) of the subfamily Polistinae, being biological pest control agents, can effectively participate in ongoing efforts to limit the use of chemical agents used in combating insect pests in urban forestry. The objective of the study, conducted in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, in May 2011, was aimed at identifying species of this group foraging on Eugenia uniflora Linnaeus (Myrtaceae) plants. The study area was monitored once a week, even as data on social wasps foraging on plants of E. uniflora were collected. The data collected included study of their daily activity pattern, diversity, dominance and overlap of temporal niches relating to species of this group. Data analysis revealed that E. uniflora plants were visited by 217 individuals of 16 species of the subfamily Polistinae. Foraging behavior of social wasps bore no relationship with sampling time, but overlap of temporal niche was high. It was observed that the species of social wasps did not damage healthy fruits, but they were probably searching for Lonchaeidae and Tephritidae larvae. It is important to preserve the diversity of these predators, since they are potentially important as a partial alternative to environmentally degrading chemical pesticides currently used in urban forestry for pest control.

Keywords


biological control; diversity; Polistinae; urban forestry; Vespidae

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v60i2.204-209

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