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.

The Evolution of Prey-Carrying Mechanisms in Wasps

Howard E. Evans
Evolution
Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec., 1962), pp. 468-483
DOI: 10.2307/2406179
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406179
Page Count: 16
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($4.00)
  • 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.
Preview not available

Abstract

1. Wasps evolved from parasitoid Hymenoptera, and primitive wasps, like parasitoids, use a single host insect or spider for each offspring. Thus the prey is generally as large as or larger than the wasp. 2. Primitive wasps seize the prey with their mandibles and drag it backwards to the nest. Good examples of this can be found in the families Tiphiidae, Bethylidae, Ampulicidae, and Pompilidae. 3. At a more advanced stage, wasps acquired various mechanisms for straddling their prey and proceeding forward over the substrate. This occurs in many Pompilidae and in some Sphecidae. 4. Most Sphecidae, and all Vespidae, use more than one paralyzed insect or spider per cell; thus the prey is slightly to considerably smaller than the wasp. The prey is carried in flight, primitively held by the mandibles, often assisted by the legs. 5. Four stocks of Sphecidae have advanced to full pedal prey transport; that is, the prey is held by the middle or hind legs or both, unassisted by the mandibles. 6. Two stocks of Sphecidae have advanced still further to abdominal prey carriage. In one of these stocks (a portion of the subfamily Crabroninae), the prey is carried on the sting, which in some cases is barbed. In the other stock (two subgenera of the genus Aphilanthops, subfamily Philanthinae), the apical abdominal segment itself is greatly modified for clamping onto the prey. 7. The more advanced types of prey carriage permit more rapid provisioning of the nest and presumably provide fewer opportunities for predators and parasites to attack the prey in transit; they also enable the wasp to close the nest upon leaving and to reopen it upon returning without depositing the prey. The employment of rapid prey transport in flight also permits wasps to take their prey at a considerable distance from their nesting site.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
468
    468
  • Thumbnail: Page 
469
    469
  • Thumbnail: Page 
470
    470
  • Thumbnail: Page 
471
    471
  • Thumbnail: Page 
472
    472
  • Thumbnail: Page 
473
    473
  • Thumbnail: Page 
474
    474
  • Thumbnail: Page 
475
    475
  • Thumbnail: Page 
476
    476
  • Thumbnail: Page 
477
    477
  • Thumbnail: Page 
478
    478
  • Thumbnail: Page 
479
    479
  • Thumbnail: Page 
480
    480
  • Thumbnail: Page 
481
    481
  • Thumbnail: Page 
482
    482
  • Thumbnail: Page 
483
    483