Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Presence of Brood Affects Caste Differentiation in the Social Wasp, Polistes exclamans Viereck (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

C. R. Solis and J. E. Strassmann
Functional Ecology
Vol. 4, No. 4 (1990), pp. 531-541
DOI: 10.2307/2389321
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389321
Page Count: 11
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($18.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Presence of Brood Affects Caste Differentiation in the Social Wasp, Polistes exclamans Viereck (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
Preview not available

Abstract

In social insect colonies the sterile individuals that assume the worker role realize their reproductive potential through working and rearing the queen's brood. We have examined the role of the presence of brood in the nest as a determinant of caste in the social wasp Polistes exclamans Viereck. We predicted that wasps in colonies where there was no brood would behave like future queens, while wasps in colonies in which brood care was an option would behave like workers. Brood presence was manipulated by removing eggs and larvae or the whole nest from experimental colonies and leaving brood in control colonies. Ability to tolerate cold temperatures was used as an indicator of caste when comparing females emerging in experimental colonies to females emerging in control colonies. Females emerging in experimental colonies survived longer at cold temperatures than those emerging in control colonies. This indicates that females developed characteristics more typical of future queens in response to deprivation of brood. P. exclamans is characterized by small colonies whose nests are destroyed frequently. Therefore caste plasticity in adult females of P. exclamans is advantageous.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
531
    531
  • Thumbnail: Page 
532
    532
  • Thumbnail: Page 
533
    533
  • Thumbnail: Page 
534
    534
  • Thumbnail: Page 
535
    535
  • Thumbnail: Page 
536
    536
  • Thumbnail: Page 
537
    537
  • Thumbnail: Page 
538
    538
  • Thumbnail: Page 
539
    539
  • Thumbnail: Page 
540
    540
  • Thumbnail: Page 
541
    541