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Birds as Predators on the Brood of Polybia Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae) in a Costa Rican Deciduous Forest

Donald M. Windsor
Biotropica
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jun., 1976), pp. 111-116
DOI: 10.2307/2989631
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2989631
Page Count: 6
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Birds as Predators on the Brood of Polybia Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae) in a Costa Rican Deciduous Forest
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Abstract

The carton nests of the polistine wasps, Polybia occidentalis and P. barbouri, are frequently destroyed by predators feeding on wasp brood in northwestern Costa Rica. The remains of these nests and the signs left by the predators closely matched those observed after several nests were destroyed by the gray-headed kite, Leptodon cayanensis. The frequency of bird predation appeared lowest during the wet season, increased through the dry season, and reached a peak of 50 percent nest destruction in May 1973. In contrast to observations from wetter tropical habitats, ants appear to be a minor source of nest destruction for highly social wasps in a lowland deciduous forest-savanna habitat.

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