Polistes canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758) (Vespidae: Polistinae) in the Western Amazon: a Potential Biological Control Agent


  • Matheus Montefusco Oliveira Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0704-5434
  • Flávia Batista Gomes Embrapa Amazônia Ocidental
  • Alexandre Somavilla INPA
  • Cristiane Krug Embrapa Amazônia Ocidental




Foraging activity, resources, caterpillars, agricultural pests


Wasps of the genus Polistes (Vespidae: Polistinae) are eusocial, considered valuable biological control agents. The objective of this work was to determine the resources collected by Polistes canadensis wasps, evaluate their performance and importance as a natural enemy and possible agent of biological control in the Brazilian Amazon. Between 8 October and 20 November of 2014, 20 evaluations were performed, totalizing 101 hours of observations of the foraging activity of an aggregation out in stage of development post-emergence with approximately 50 adult individuals distributed in 15 colonies. Additionally, observations of the predatory activity of Polistes canadensis on Plutella xylostella on a small organic plantation of kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala DC), were also made. During the evaluations 1742 returns were recorded, 11.72% of them with prey, 3.10% with plant fiber, 16.76% with nectar, 45.17% with water and 23.25% without any visible load. All the preys identified were classified as Lepidoptera, belonging to ten morphospecies. Only one morphospecies was identified as Spodoptera frugiperda, which was the most commonly resource used by the wasps in 37 % in immature feeding. Only returns with nectar had statistically significant difference between the evaluated schedules.  Polistes canadensis wasps did not prey Plutella xylostella caterpillars. The wasp aggregation studied was able to prey an average of 10.2 caterpillars per day, which demonstrates the potential of this species for the biological control of pests in the Amazon region.


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Author Biography

  • Matheus Montefusco Oliveira, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)


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