Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 443–451 | Cite as

Usurpations and late associations in the solitary founding social wasp,Polistes biglumis bimaculatus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

  • M. C. Lorenzi
  • R. Cervo


One hundred twenty-five colonies of a population of the montane, haplometrotic, paper waspPolistes biglumis bimaculatus were marked for identification and then periodically surveyed during an entire summer period. This made it possible to record intraspecific nest usurpations (both single and multiple) and to observe associations between two females, defined here as “late associations”. Both usurpation and late association occurred primarily in the latter half of the preemergence period. Some evidence suggests that a foundress usurps a conspecific nest as a consequence of her own nest failure. After nest failure, usurpation and late association are the only available options for achieving reproductive success because, in the mountain habitat, the short summer does not allow for successful renesting. Late associations generally occurred earlier than usurpation. However, our evidence suggests that nest usurpation and late association may be the same phenomenon.

Key words

Polistes wasps nest usurpation social parasitism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Lorenzi
    • 1
  • R. Cervo
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Morfofisiologia VeterinariaUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e GeneticaUniversità di FirenzeFirenzeItaly

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