Waspish behaviour


FEMALE wasps save their energy for raising their young by waiting for other females to build colonies and then stealing them. Philip Starks, a graduate student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, set up experimental colonies of paper wasps (Polistes dominulus), whose females are infamous for imprisoning males (In Brief, 4 October 1997, p 23). Of roughly 150 females, 57 set up nests in the spring, while the others waited. Starks then introduced 35 paper wasp nests from around Ithaca, each with its queen removed, into the wasp enclosure. A waiting female adopted each nest, ate the eggs and young larvae, and then laid her own brood (Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol 265,
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