Differential Nest Parasitism in Three Sympatric Social Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistes spp.) in the West Indies

Christopher K Starr, John M Nelson


Jamaica's three species of social wasps were found nesting together in a suburban area.  Their nests gave evidence of markedly different parasitoid loads in the sequence Polistes crinitus > P. dorsalis > P. major.  Based on larval and pupal silk remains, the moth Chalcoela pegasalis appears to be the main nest parasitoid at this locality.  Despite widely different parasitoid loads, the estimated per-nest production of adults was similar among the three species.  This suggests a trade-off between investment in anti-parasitoid tactics and in other brood-care activities.


Chalcoela pegasalis; Jamaica; nest symbionts

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v62i4.396


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