, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 1277-1287

Sex attraction in paper wasp,Polistes exclamans viereck (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), in a wind tunnel

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A wind-tunnel bioassay was developed to test for the presence of sex attractants in the paper wasp,Polistes exclamans Viereck (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Males exhibited significant upwind flight and attraction (chemoanemotaxis) in response to airflow passed over unmated females, and to hexane extracts of whole bodies and thoraces of unmated females. Unmated females were attracted to hexane extracts of males and to hexane extracts of each body tagma of males, suggesting distribution of the pheromone over the cuticle by grooming. The ectal mandibular and seventh sternal glands are the likely sources of the male-produced sex attractant(s) since extracts of each elicited female attraction in the flight tunnel. These glands are associated with gastral and mandibular rubbing of perch sites by territorial males ofPolistes species.