Colony development and social structure in a subtropical paper wasp,Ropalidia fasciata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

  • Yosiaki Itô


More than 50% of nests ofRopalidia fasciata were founded by association of foundresses (multifemale nests). The multifemale nests were generally initiated earlier and grew faster than the single-female nests. The survival rate of the multifemale nests was significantly higher than that of single-female nests, and the productivity as measured by the number of cells produced per foundress had a peak at a foundress-group size from 6 to 10. The number of marked foundresses which were seen on their original nest decreased as the colony cycle proceeded, but some of them continued to coexist on the original nests after emergency of many female progeny. Except in the case where a large number of foundresses attended a young nest so that some foundresses could not sit on the nest, the dominance interactions among cofoundresses were mild. More than twothirds (71.4%) of nests (including those at the post-emergence stage) had multiple egg-layers. The foundress association in this species is considered to be beneficial for every foundress because it raises ability to avoid predation or to reconstruct their nests when the nests are destroyed by typhoons.


Social Wasp Paper Wasp Nest Foundation Marked Female Original Nest 
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Copyright information

© Society of Population Ecology 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yosiaki Itô
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied Entomology and NematologyNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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