HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Paper Wasp Queens Wait To Hijack Or Adopt

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Scientists once believed that a wasp queen took over another queen's nest only if her own nest had been destroyed. That's wrong.

A Cornell University researcher has found that certain female paper wasps ("Polistes dominulus"), without nests of their own, "sit and wait" for an opportunity to adopt orphaned nests or hijack nests from other queens. "If paper wasps could talk, Jerry Springer would have a month full of guests on his TV talk show," says Philip T. Starks, a Cornell doctoral candidate in animal behavior, whose research is being published today (Aug. 7) by Britain's Royal Society.

"This is risky behavior. From an evolutionary perspective, if females don't get a nest, they won't get offspring in the next generation," says Starks. "We all know people who sit and wait for others to do things for them, but who would have thought we'd see the same behavior in insects?"

Are the wasps acting like cuckoos because they are lazy or just plain mean?

"We've known about usurping and adopting for a long time, but we thought the queens came from destroyed nests or were subordinate queens who had left their previous nests. The fact is, in the field we didn't know where they all came from. Obviously, adopting is not the only reproductive strategy that wasps engage in, but it is a strategy that can have a high pay off," says Starks.

These sit-and-wait female wasps prefer to adopt the most mature nests, probably because these nests will produce workers the soonest, and colonies with workers are very likely to survive. Starks explains that once a queen adopts a nest she will eat the former queen's eggs and young larvae and replace them with her own eggs. The older larvae and pupae, which belonged to the former queen, are allowed to complete development and may eventually help rear the adopting female's offspring.

"Polistes dominulus" are non-indigenous to the United States. Starks explains that the species arrived from Europe
'"/>

Contact: Blaine P. Friedlander, Jr.
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-255-3290
Cornell University News Service
7-Aug-1998


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. CIIT researchers honored for Paper of the Year
2. Tip Sheet: Papers Of Interest, 95th Annual Meeting, Association Of American Geographers
3. Tip Sheet: Papers At IADR Meeting
4. Fake Photosynthesis? Test-Tube System In Science Paper Sheds Light On The Oxygen We Breathe, UD Prof Says
5. Studies Suggest Cold Can Protect Valuable Papers
6. As A Carbon Sponge, Iron-Poor Coastal Waters Cant Always Do The Job, NaturePaper Shows
7. Timber Supplement From Paper And Plastic
8. Brain patterns the same whether doing or just watching, Queens researcher discovers
9. Queens University chemist wins U.S. award for new reactions to make drugs, agrochemicals, conductors
10. Russian Queens Bee-Little Mites Impact
11. Dual Control Strategy Assures Accurate Cellular Marching Orders, But A Pathogenic Microbe Can Hijack The System

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/27/2019)... ... November 27, 2019 , ... ... device, equipped with surface electromyography (sEMG) sensors that measure and display muscle activity ... the specific muscles being targeted for treatment. Both patient and therapist can see ...
(Date:11/19/2019)... ... November 19, 2019 , ... The inaugural Cell & Gene Therapy ... York City. The one-day event will be chaired by Dr Aiman Shalabi, VP R&D, ... space. , “We are witnessing significant innovation in cell and gene therapies, and ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... November 12, 2019 , ... ... the design and manufacturer of technical ergonomic seating solutions, announced this week ... with Healthier Hospital Initiative guidelines. Established by Practice Greenhealth, a health care ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/29/2019)... ... 29, 2019 , ... Researchers at Sony recently demonstrated biometric ... imagers , researchers identified people by the image of a small patch on ... recognition, fingerprints and vasculature. , The new CMS4 series of cameras offer ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... 2019 , ... nQ Medical, Inc. of Cambridge, MA, was recognized in the ... was announced at a showcase event yesterday in Los Angeles. nQ competed against 3,500 ... and impressive near-term growth projections to be named one of the most fundable companies ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... 22, 2019 , ... Enplug , a leading cloud-based ... into its digital signage platform. The collaboration brings one of the most trusted ... to leverage their existing digital signage networks to quickly disseminate critical safety information ...
(Date:10/17/2019)... ... October 15, 2019 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently gave ... DNA Testing for health and/or genealogy research purposes. , There are many reasons ... people want to know more about themselves at a cellular level: family history, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: