Notes on Niche Separation in the Neotropical Social Wasps Polistes lanio and Polistes versicolor (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Authors

  • Jehangir Kadir Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Ria Lewis Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Christopher K. Starr Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago

Keywords:

Polistes, niche, social wasp

Abstract

Nesting and colony productivity of the social wasps Polistes lanio and P. versicolor are compared at three sites in northern Trinidad, West Indies. Only P. versicolor was found nesting at the most vegetated site, while only P. lanio was at the least vegetated site. The two species were both abundant at an intermediate site. Where the species co-occur, there is no evident difference in their use of available nest sites. Furthermore, where they co-occur there is no significant difference in colony productivity. However, each species is more productive at the opener, less heavily vegetated site where it is found. As a result, P. lanio is significantly more productive, overall, than P. versicolor. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that P. lanio excludes P. versicolor by competition from more productive sites. The basis of this supposed competition remains unknown.

Downloads

Published

2006-12-31

Issue

Section

Research Papers