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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 259–273 | Cite as

Colony behavior of the obligate social parasiteVespula austriaca (Panzer) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

  • H. C. Reed
  • R. D. Akre
Article

Summary

The obligate social parasite,Vespula austriaca (Panzer), after successfully usurping a colony, displayed overt physical dominance of the host workers,V. acadica (Sladen). Agonistic inquiline behavior such as mauling, chasing workers, and flailing were commonly observed during observations of 5 parasitized colonies. The parasites solicited workers more frequently than larvæ for liquid nourishment, and commonly engaged in both typical and forced trophallaxis. Aggressiveness of the parasite was more intense during the early stages of colony occupation, and was less frequent and vigorous in the later stages of the colony. A brief, and probably intense, oviposition period occurred during the period of heightened parasite aggression. This species exhibited many activities similar to those of another vespine inquiline,Dolichovespula arctica (Rohwer), such as hyperactivity, gastral dragging, minimal nest construction and lack of colony defense, but also displayed some contrasting interactions. There was an absence of worker attraction to the inquiline, an inhibition of worker ovarian development by the parasite, and decreased aggression in later colony stages. It is hypothesized thatV. austriaca maintains colony control through an interplay of direct and forceful interactions with workers and by the use of pheromones.

Keywords

Oviposition Period Social Parasite Nest Construction Host Worker Contrasting Interaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Le comportement colonial du parasite social obligatoireVespula austriaca (Panzer) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Resume

Le parasite social obligatoire,Vespula austriaca (Panzer), après avoir réussi à s'introduire dans une colonie, a montré une dominance ouverte et physique sur les ouvrières de l'espèce hôte,V. acadica (Sladen). Des comportements agonistiques, tels que l' «écharpement», la poursuite et la «flagellation» des ouvrières, ont été souvent observés au cours de l'observation des 5 colonies parasitisées. Les parasites sollicitent plus souvent les ouvrières que les larves pour la nourriture liquide, et participent ordinairement à des trophallaxies tant typiques que forcées. L'agressivité du parasite est plus marquée pendant les premiers stades de l'occupation de la colonie; elle est moins fréquente et marquée aux stades ultérieurs de la colonie. Une période d'oviposition brève et probablement «intense», s'est produite au moment où l'agressivité parasitaire était augmentée. Cette espèce parasite présente de nombreuses activités semblables à celles d'une autre espèce de Vespinés,Dolichovespula arctica (Rohwer), telles que hyperactivité, traînement de l'abdomen, construction minimum du nid et absence de défense de la colonie. Mais elle a aussi des interactions différentes. Il n'y a pas d'attraction des ouvrières pour le parasite; il y a inhibition du développement ovarien chez les ouvrières, par le parasite; l'agressivité diminue dans les derniers stades de développement de la colonie. Nous admettons comme hypothèse queV. austriaca maintient son contrôle sur la colonie par une combinaison d'interactions directes et forcées avec les ouvrières, au moyen de phéromones.

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Copyright information

© Masson 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Reed
    • 1
  • R. D. Akre
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Natural SciencesOral Roberts UniversityTulsa
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyWashington State UniversityPullman

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