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Latest Vespoidea Stories

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...

2011-12-01 18:45:56

A co-evolutionary arms race exists between social insects and their parasites. Army ants (Leptogenys distinguenda) share their nests with several parasites such as beetles, snails and spiders. They also share their food with the kleptoparasitic silverfish (Malayatelura ponerophila). New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology shows that the silverfish manage to hide amongst the ants by covering themselves in the ant's chemical scent. Myrmecophilous...

Communal Living Of The Insect Kind
2011-11-17 04:20:02

The social lives of ants, wasps and bees have long been a puzzle to scientists. How did complex insect societies – colonies ruled by a queen and many workers – come to be? A new model adds to discontent with old ideas. Social insect society is divided into specialized castes that take on different roles within the nest. Most of the members of a colony — the workers — forego their own chance for reproduction and instead spend their lives raising offspring that aren't...

New Species Of Fungus Found In A Wasp Nest
2011-11-10 04:29:58

Mucor nidicola species previously unknown to science While some researchers look for new species in such exotic places as the deep sea, tropical regions, or extreme environments, a team headed by Tufts researchers turned their attention towards nests of an invasive paper wasp. What they found was a new species of fungus. Philip T. Starks, associate professor of biology at the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, and doctoral student Anne A. Madden published their discovery...

Mob Tactics Help Vicious Queen Ants To Reach The Top
2011-09-30 04:21:30

Leptothorax acervorum ants live all over the Northern hemisphere, but their reproductive strategy depends on habitat. Colonies are polygynous (more than one queen) in the forest of Siberia and central Europe, but functionally monogynous (only one queen reproduces) on sun-exposed slopes in Alaska, Hokkaido and the mountains of central Spain. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology demonstrates that when a colony is functionally monogynous not only do queen...

Image 1 - Developmental Differences Controlled By Rapidly Evolving Genes
2011-09-19 10:15:28

  Genes essential to producing the developmental differences displayed by social insects evolve more rapidly than genes governing other aspects of organismal function, a new study has found. All species of life are able to develop in different ways by varying the genes they express, ultimately becoming different shapes, sizes, colors and sexes. This plasticity permits organisms to operate successfully in their environments. A new study of the genomes of social insects provides...

2011-08-30 06:27:56

Flight attacks of small parasitoid wasps (no larger than 2.0 mm in size) on ant workers have been filmed by José María Gómez Durán from Madrid. The four species of wasps show amazing adaptations and enormous differences in the tactics they use. Two of the four filmed species are new to science and are described by Dr Kees van Achterberg from NCB Naturalis Leiden. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. Ants are a very...

a02dfffe3616eb50857b1e330786ae14
2011-07-12 08:51:38

Ant colonies with more behavioral variety are more successful / New findings in ant behavioral research They attack other colonies, plunder and rob, kill other colonies' inhabitants or keep them as slaves: Ants are usually regarded as prototypes of social beings that are prepared to sacrifice their lives for their community, but they can also display extremely aggressive behavior towards other nests. The evolution and behavior of ants, in particular the relationship between socially...

1d8a87487009fc0fd3f4897cae1f977e
2011-06-08 11:08:52

By Louis Bergeron, Stanford University Stanford sophomores studying ants in a summer course discovered that the local ants were using poison to kill invading Argentine ants. The discovery provides new insight into the war between the local "winter ants" and the South American invaders who have shown up everywhere from California to South Africa. Argentine ants are taking over the world "“ or at least the nice temperate parts. They've spread into Mediterranean and subtropical climates...


Latest Vespoidea Reference Libraries

0_1b176b063c37655d81f4ab248352d3de
2005-09-12 11:56:41

A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is not a bee, sawfly, or an ant. The less familiar suborder Symphyta includes the sawflies and wood wasps, which differ from the Apocrita by having a broad connection between the thorax and abdomen. Also, Symphyta larvae are mostly herbivorous and "caterpillarlike", whereas those of Apocrita are largely predatory or parasitic. Most familiar wasps belong to the Aculeata, a division of the Apocrita whose ovipositors are...

40_6890040c3881a91ffa9ae5832977676d
2005-09-12 10:21:44

Spider wasps, also called pompilid wasps or spider-hunting wasps, are insects belonging to a diverse family named Pompilidae, of the order Hymenoptera. Spider wasps are sometimes distinct from other wasps in features such as eye structure (no notch as in Family Vespidae), legs modified for grooming, and in having a groove dividing the mesopleuron (a region of the thorax) into halves. Larvae can also be identified by physical examination. Females are often larger than the males, with...

40_2a82afe2a926ff17f8a6767143261c5b
2005-09-08 12:09:25

Yellowjackets are typically black-and-yellow wasps of the genus Vespula or Dolichovespula (though some can be black-and-white, the most notable of these being the bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata). They are characterized mostly by their distinctive combination of black-and-yellow color, small size (slightly larger than a bee), and entirely black antennae. They live in colonies and build globular paper nests. Workers are around 12-20 mm in length, depending on species, and feed on...

40_f0d9886e30d819cc3f9700977b463e08
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,...

40_e84b7351a70d1d2195a6554703b4a633
2005-08-25 08:44:29

A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is not a bee, sawfly, or an ant. Less familiar, the suborder Symphyta includes the sawflies and wood wasps, which differ from the Apocrita by having a broad connection between the thorax and abdomen. Also, Symphyta larvae are mostly herbivorous and "caterpillar-like", whereas those of Apocrita are largely predatory or parasitic. Most familiar wasps belong to the Aculeata, a division of the Apocrita whose ovipositors...

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Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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