, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 281-292
Date: 14 Jun 2013

The nest structure in four species of solitary wasps of the subfamily Eumeninae (Hymenoptera, Vespidae)

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Abstract

Nests of Syneuodynerus egregius, Euodynerus posticus, Ancistrocerus antilope, and A. nigricornis have a similar structure and consist of a linear row of cells separated by transverse partitions made of soil mastic. The number of cells in the nests is 1–11 (5.6 ± 0.8) in S. egregius, 1–7 (2.6 ± 0.2) in E. posticus, 1–10 (4.0 ± 0.7) in A. antilope, and 1–28 (7.9 ± 1.3) in A. nigricornis. Most nests consist of several cells in S. egregius and A. nigricornis and of one or two cells in E. posticus and A. antilope. The female to male ratio is 1.2: 1.0 in E. egregius, 1.5: 1.0 in E. posticus, 1.9: 1.0 in A. antilope, and 1.0: 1.0 in A. nigricornis. The nests of S. egregius usually contain brood of both sexes; those of A. antilope, that of one sex. The sex ratio is correlated with the diameter of the occupied nest cavities only in A. antilope. The volume of the cells with females exceeds that of the cells with males in all the species studied: by 23, 34, 54, and 98% in S. egregius, E. posticus, A. antilope, and A. nigricornis, respectively. The relative difference between the body masses of male and female prepupae is correlated with the relative difference between the volumes of their cells. The nest cells of S. egregius are separated by double partitions consisting of homologs of cell bottoms and lids. In the nests of E. posticus the partitions are single; each cell has a bottom and a lid, with “false cells” being located between them. In the nests of A. antilope and A. nigricornis, the partitions are single but all of them are homologs of the cell bottoms. The nest cells of S. egregius belong to the equilinear type; their length is relatively constant in the cavities of various diameters. The nest cells of A. antilope are of the equivolumetric type: their length is smaller in broad cavities and greater in narrow ones, the cell volume being relatively constant in the cavities of different diameters. The nest cells of E. posticus and A. nigricornis are of the intermediate type. Statistical models of nests reflecting their mean parameters and composition were built. The evolutionarily primitive and progressive features in the nest structure are discussed.

Original Russian Text © A.V. Fateryga, 2012, published in Zoologicheskii Zhurnal, 2012, Vol. 91, No. 10, pp. 1199–1209.