Polybia (Myrapetra) scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) foraging on flies at carcasses of Rattus norvegicus (Rodentia: Muridae)


  • Anita Herdina Laboratório de Biologia Evolutiva, Departamento de Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Rio grande do Sul, CEP 97105-900, Brazil.
  • Gabriela Bitencourt Laboratório de Biologia Evolutiva, Departamento de Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Rio grande do Sul, CEP 97105-900, Brazil.
  • Rocco Di Mare Laboratório de Biologia Evolutiva, Departamento de Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Rio grande do Sul, CEP 97105-900, Brazil.
  • Bruno Corrêa Barbosa Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Bioacústica (LABEC), Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, CEP 36036-330, Brazil.




Brachycera, Epiponini, Itaara, predation


Social wasps stand out due to their role in the trophic balance of the ecosystems. These insects can get nutrients by preying on other insects, such as Lepidoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and the decomposing remains of vertebrates. Some species, such as Polybia scutellaris, can also use pollen and nectar stored in their nests to produce honey. Some studies lay emphasis on the prey captured by social wasps, showing that predation, in some conditions, is directed to Lepidoptera larvae, such as for Polybia occidentalis, Polybia paulista and Polybia ignobilis. Other species like P. scutellaris focus on flies of the Tabanidae, Syrphidae, Muscidae and Anthomyiidae families. There are few studies with social wasps that feed on animal carcasses; this way, our study aims to report the predation on individuals of the Sarcophagidae family, which use Rattus norvegicus carcasses as a food source, by the social wasp Polybia scutellari


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