Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Three kinds of body oscillations by foundresses of the paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, were analyzed from 100 h of videotapes of 17 multiple- and 16 single-foundress, preworker colonies. The three kinds of oscillations were observed to be temporally proximate only after prey returns. Their sequential occurrence was always antennal drumming (AD), abdominal wagging (AW), and lateral vibration (LV). This sequence is consistent with the hypothesized communicative meanings of ADs, AWs, and LVs. In particular, ADs may signal larvae to withold salivary secretions prior to receiving a liquid meal from an adult female; oscillations AW and LV may signal larvae to secrete and withold saliva, respectively, Additional studies are required to provide causal evidence of the communicative meanings of ADs, AWs, and LVs.

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Entomology Commons