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Microstigmus comes Wasps have a Method of Nest Construction Unique Among Social Insects

Robert W. Matthews and Christopher K. Starr
Biotropica
Vol. 16, No. 1 (Mar., 1984), pp. 55-58
DOI: 10.2307/2387895
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2387895
Page Count: 4
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Microstigmus comes Wasps have a Method of Nest Construction Unique Among Social Insects
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Abstract

As many as six females of the Neotropical wasp, Microstigmus comes, cooperate to gather and silk a single ball of material derived from the underside of fronds of the host palm, Chryosophila guagara. They mold this into a bag, then lower it on a silked petiole which is finally given a characteristic spiral. Construction averaged 36.8 hours of working time performed over four days. Orphaned wasps initiated new nests on their original host plant 75 percent of the time. Heavy rain and winds destroyed 28.6 percent of newly established units.

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