Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 257–260 | Cite as

First detailed report of brood parasitoidism in the invasive population of the paper wasp Polistes dominulus (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) in North America

Research Article


The European paper wasp Polistes dominulus (Christ) is a model system in the fields of behavioral ecology, ecological immunology, and invasion biology. Since its introduction to the US in 1978, its invasion success has been attributed, in part, to a lack of parasites or parasitoids infecting this population. This is despite the number of parasites which infest the native population and the generalist polistine parasites and parasitoids documented in sympatric North American species. Multiple studies have cited low parasite pressure as evidence that the invasive population of P. dominulus is benefiting from a post-invasion release from enemies. Here, we present the first well documented case of parasitoidism of the invasive population of P. dominulus in North America.


Chalcoela iphitalis Enemy release hypothesis Parasitic moths Invasion biology Pyralidae 



This research was supported by a Tufts Institute of the Environment Fellowship from Tufts University to A.A.M. and a USA National Science Foundation-REU site award to Tufts University (DBI-0649190). The authors would like to thank Codman Farms for allowing for the collection of their nests; J. Soriano for his assistance with observations; M.A. Metz (USDA) for his assistance in identifying C. iphitalis; and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. The recent data capture efforts of J.A. Lewis facilitated in the relocation of specimens in alcohol.


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Copyright information

© International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Dana LaboratoryTufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyNational Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA

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