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Latest Polistes Stories

Some Wasps Developed Bigger Eyes To See Social Cues Better
2014-04-30 03:57:42

Robert Sanders, University of California - Berkeley Social communication drove evolution of larger facets in acute zone of compound eye Some wasps have developed bigger eyes, and thus better vision, to read the social cues written on the faces of their sister wasps, according to a new University of California, Berkeley, study. "The Big Bad Wolf had it right," said lead author Michael Sheehan, a UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow. "When Little Red Riding Hood said, 'Goodness, what big...

Polistes fuscatus
2014-02-10 10:05:21

Penn State Aggression-causing genes appeared early in animal evolution and have maintained their roles for millions of years and across many species, even though animal aggression today varies widely from territorial fighting to setting up social hierarchies, according to researchers from Iowa State University, Penn State and Grand Valley State University. If these "mean genes" keep their roles in different animals and in different contexts, then perhaps model organisms -- such as bees...

European Paper Wasp Never Cries Wolf
2012-08-20 07:13:34

European paper wasps (Polistes dominula) advertise the size of their poison glands to potential predators, finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology. The brighter the color, the larger the poison gland. Aposematism is used by many different animals to warn potential predators that they are poisonous. Usually this takes the form of distinctive coloration or patterns which predators quickly learn to avoid. Paper wasps have conspicuous yellow and...

Image 1 - The King Of Wasps And Scorpio Rising
2012-03-24 05:48:17

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com Discovery of a new giant wasp species last year has led to the discovery of an even larger species than had been sitting in a collection for 80 years. Megalara garuda hails from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the same island where a team led by professor Lynn Kimsey (UC Davis) discovered the wasp´s slightly smaller relative Dalara garuda. Both species belong to the digger wasp family, a diverse group of wasps that sting and paralyze prey insects....

Image 1 - Paper Wasps Learn Faces
2011-12-02 06:39:22

Researchers at the University of Michigan recently studied paper wasps and their ability to recognize wasp faces. They discovered that the species Polistes fuscatus has a special ability to learn faces and retain what they learn. According to Michael Sheehan, who worked on the research with evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts, “Wasps and humans have independently evolved similar and very specialized face-learning mechanisms, despite the fact that everything about the way we see...

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2011-01-25 07:35:00

Future queen or tireless toiler? A paper wasp's destiny may lie in the antennal drumbeats of its caretaker. While feeding their colony's larvae, a paper wasp queen and other dominant females periodically beat their antennae in a rhythmic pattern against the nest chambers, a behavior known as antennal drumming. The drumming behavior is clearly audible even to human listeners and has been observed for decades, prompting numerous hypotheses about its purpose, says Robert Jeanne, a professor...

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2010-05-20 07:56:15

Social status in paper wasps is established earlier in life than scientists thought, says a study published this month in the journal PLoS ONE. While many social insects have distinct social classes that differ in appearance and are fixed from birth, paper wasp society is more fluid "” all castes look alike, and any female can climb the social ladder and become a queen. Now, molecular analysis reveals that paper wasp social hierarchy is less flexible than it appears. Queens diverge from...

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2010-04-27 12:23:04

They are both nest-building social insects, but paper wasps and honey bees organize their colonies in very different ways. In a new study, researchers report that despite their differences, these insects rely on the same network of genes to guide their social behavior. The study appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Honey bees and paper wasps are separated by more than 100 million years of evolution, and there are striking differences in how they divvy up the...

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2009-10-15 11:06:49

Standing out in a crowd is better than blending in, at least if you're a paper wasp in a colony where fights between nest-mates determine social status. That's the conclusion of a study by University of Michigan researchers published online this week in the journal Evolution. "It's good to be different, to wear a nametag advertising your identity," said graduate student Michael Sheehan, who collaborated on the research with evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts. In earlier research,...


Latest Polistes Reference Libraries

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2005-08-25 09:20:52

Paper Wasps are social wasps and make up the genus Polistes. They form small colonies with umbrella-shaped nests in sheltered spots, and are quite mild-mannered. They feed on caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects, most of them pests. Despite the use of the proper name, most social wasps make nests from paper, although some tropical wasp species such as Listenogaster Flavolineata use mud, a far more easy resource for the wasp to collect. The larger colonial species, Yellowjackets,...

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Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.