A rare but successful reproductive tactic in a social wasp (Hymenoptera:Vespidae): Use of heterospecific nests
DE SOUZA,ANDRÉ R.
SILVA,NEWTON J. J.
Successful heterospecific use of abandoned nests has been reported in birds. Although the same behavior has been observed in wasps, the success of such tactic has not been demonstrated. We described two cases in which the social wasp Polistes versicolor successfully reared its brood in empty nests of the social wasps Mischocyttarus drewseni and Mischocyttarus cassununga (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). We showed that this is a rare but a viable reproductive tactic for both solitary and associative foundress. Unlike birds, which use heterspecific nests very similar to their own, wasps are able to use heterspecific nests that do differ from their own.