Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Paper wasps are important biological control agents because they prey exclusively on many types of caterpillars. Attempts have been made by others to increase wasp populations by providing nest boxes in vegetable fields. Scientists at the Insect Attractants, Behavior, and Basic Biology Research Laboratory, Gainesville, Florida, discovered high rates of parasitism of a species of paper wasp by a eulophid wasp, in exposed nesting sites. This information provides a better understanding of the relationship between nest-site characteristics and population dynamics that may benefit any future efforts to augment paper wasp populations by providing nesting locations.
Technical Abstract: This paper is a first report of Elasmus polistis Burks parasitizing the brood of the paper wasp Polistes dorsalis, and also reports an unusual nesting site for this species of paper wasp. Adult E. polistis emerged from cells of 4 P. dorsalis nests. Pupae of E. polistis were in cells of 3 additional nests. A total of 833 adults and pupae of E. polistis were collected in 7 of 10 nests of P. dorsalis. Nests of P. dorsalis collected were located under eaves of small buildings, an unusual nesting site for this species, which is normally found in concealed locations near the ground.