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The Influence of Size, Age, and Residency Status on Territory Defense in Male Western Cicada Killer Wasps (Sphecius grandis, Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)

Jon M. Hastings
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Vol. 62, No. 3 (Jul., 1989), pp. 363-373
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25085103
Page Count: 11
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The Influence of Size, Age, and Residency Status on Territory Defense in Male Western Cicada Killer Wasps (Sphecius grandis, Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)
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Abstract

Male western cicada killer wasps (Sphecius grandis) defend mating territories in nesting aggregations. The territories encompass areas from which receptive females emerge. Most males observed in copula were active on territories when their mates emerged. Large males have an advantage in territorial disputes, and the mean winglength of males found in copula was larger than the mean of the general male population. Residency status had little influence on the outcome of disputes. Age did seem to influence the ability of males to defend and secure territories; most takeovers of territories were by younger males. Small males succeeded in securing and defending territories, but usually on the periphery of the nest aggregation or at times when the primary resident males were absent. Some small males employed a nonterritorial mating tactic.

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