Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Dynamics of chemical mimicry in the social parasite wasp Polistes semenowi (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

  • M. C. LORENZI (a1), R. CERVO (a2), F. ZACCHI (a2), S. TURILLAZZI (a2) and A.-G. BAGNÈRES (a3)...

Abstract

Chemical cues are so important in the recognition mechanism of social insects that most social parasites (which rely on hosts to rear their brood) have been documented as overcoming the mechanism by which colony residents recognize non-nestmates, by mimicking the odour of the usurped colony. We simulated in the laboratory the process by which the obligate social parasite, Polistes semenowi, invades nests of the host species, Polistes dominulus, in the field and analysed the epicuticular lipid layer before and after host nest usurpation. The experiment documents that P. semenowi social parasites have an epicuticular hydrocarbon pattern which is very similar to that of their host but, after entering host colonies, parasites mimic the odour of the colonies they invade, to the point that they perfectly match the hydrocarbon profile peculiar to the colony they entered. However, both before and after host nest invasion, parasites show a tendency to possess diluted recognition cues with respect to their hosts.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, University of Turin, via Accademia Albertina 17, 10123 Torino, Italy. Tel: +39 011 6704737. Fax: +39 011 6704732. E-mail: cristina.lorenzi@unito.it

References

Hide All

REFERENCES

BAGNÈRES, A.-G., CLÉMENT, J.-L., BLUM, M. S., SEVERSON, R. F., JOULIE, C. & LANGE, C. ( 1990). Cuticular hydrocarbons and defensive compounds or Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R. santonensis (Feytaud): polymorphism and chemotaxonomy. Journal of Chemical Ecology 16, 32133244.
BAGNÈRES, A.-G., LORENZI, M. C., CLÉMENT, J.-L., DUSTICIER, G. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 1996). Chemical usurpation of a nest by paper wasp parasites. Science 272, 889892.
BONAVITA-COUGOURDAN, A., THERAULAZ, G., BAGNÈRES, A.-G., ROUX, M., PRATTE, M., PROVOST, E. & CLÉMENT, J.-L. ( 1991). Cuticular hydrocarbons, social organization and ovarian development in a polistine wasp: Polistes dominulus Christ. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 100B, 667680.
BREED, M. D., PERRY, S. & BJOSTAD, L. B. ( 2004). Testing the blank state hypothesis: why honey bee colonies accept young bees. Insectes Sociaux 51, 1216.
CERVO, R. & DANI, F. R. ( 1996). Social parasitism and its evolution in Polistes. In Natural History and the Evolution of Paper Wasps ( ed. Turillazzi, S. & West Eberhard, M. J.), pp. 98112. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
CERVO, R., LORENZI, M. C. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 1990). On the strategies of host nest invasion in three species of Sulcopolistes, social parasites of Polistes wasps. Actes Colloques Insectes Sociaux 6, 6974.
CHOUDHARY, M., STRASSMANN, J. E., QUELLER, D. C., TURILLAZZI, S. & CERVO, R. ( 1994). Social parasites in Polistine wasps are monophyletic – implications for sympatric speciation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 257, 3135.
DANI, F. R., CERVO, R. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 1992). Abdomen stroking behaviour and its possible functions in Polistes dominulus (Christ) (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Behavioural Processes 28, 5158.
DANI, F. R., JONES, G. R., DESTRI, S., SPENCER, S. H. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 2001). Deciphering the recognition signature within the cuticular chemical profile of paper wasps. Animal Behaviour 62, 165171.
DAPPORTO, L., CERVO, R., SLEDGE, M. F. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 2004). Rank integration in dominance hierarchies of host colonies by the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Journal of Insect Physiology 50, 217223.
DETTNER, K. & LIEPERT, C. ( 1994). Chemical mimicry and camouflage. Annual Review of Entomology 39, 129154.
GAMBOA, G. J., REEVE, H. K. & PFENNIG, D. W. ( 1986). The evolution and ontogeny of nestmate recognition in social wasps. Annual Review of Entomology 31, 431454.
LENOIR, A., D'ETTORRE, P., ERRARD, C. & HEFETZ, A. ( 2001). Chemical ecology and social parasitism in ants. Annual Review of Entomology 46, 573599.
LENOIR, A., FRESNEAU, D., ERRARD, C. & HEFETZ, A. ( 1999). Individuality and colonial identity in ants: the emergence of the social representation concept. In Information Processing in Social Insects ( ed. Detrain, C., Denebourg, J. L. & Pasteels, J.), pp. 219237. Birkauser, Basel, Switzerland.
LORENZI, M. C. ( 2003). Social wasp parasites affect the nestmate recognition abilities of their hosts (Polistes atrimandibularis and P. biglumis, Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Insectes Sociaux 50, 8287.
LORENZI, M. C. & BAGNÈRES, A.-G. ( 1996). Hydrocarbon pattern variations in the paper of Polistes biglumis bimaculatus nests usurped or not by the social parasite Polistes artimandibularis (Hymenoptera Vespidae). Proceedings of the XXth International Congress of Entomology, Firenze, Italy, 25–31 August 1996, p. 416.
LORENZI, M. C. & BAGNÈRES, A.-G. ( 2002). Concealing identity and mimicking hosts: a dual chemical strategy for a single social parasite? (Polistes atrimandibularis, Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Parasitology 125, 507512.
LORENZI, M. C., BAGNÈRES, A.-G. & CLÉMENT, J. L. ( 1996). The role of cuticular hydrocarbons in insect societies: is it the same in paper wasps? In Natural History and the Evolution of Paper Wasps (ed. Turillazzi, S. & West Eberhard, M. J.), pp. 178189. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
LORENZI, M. C., COMETTO, I. & MARCHISIO, G. ( 1999). Species and colony components in the recognition odor of young social wasps: their expression and learning (Polistes biglumis and P. atrimandibularis, Hymenoptera Vespidae). Journal of Insect Behavior 12, 147158.
MEAD, F. ( 1991). Social parasitism of a Polistes dominulus Christ colony by Sucopolistes semenowi Morawitz – changes in social activity among the queens and development of the usurped colony. Journal of Ethology 9, 3740.
MPURU, S., BLOMQUIST, G. J., SCHAL, C. S., ROUX, M., KUENZLI, M., DUSTICIER, G., CLÉMENT, J.-L. & BAGNÈRES, A.-G. ( 2001). Effect of age and sex on the production of internal and external hydrocarbons and pheromones in the housefly, Musca domestica. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 31, 139155.
MUNDRY, R. & FISCHER, J. ( 1998). Use of statistical programs for nonparametric tests of small samples often leads to incorrect P values: examples from animal behaviour. Animal Behaviour 56, 256259.
PANEK, L. M., GAMBOA, G. J. & ESPELIE, K. E. ( 2001). The effect of a wasp's age on its cuticular hydrocarbon profile and its tolerance by nestmate and non-nestmate conspecifics (Polistes fuscatus, Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Ethology 107, 5563.
PFENNIG, D. W., GAMBOA, G. J., REEVE, H. K., SHELLMAN-REEVE, J. S. & FERGUSON, I. D. ( 1983). The mechanism of nestmate discrimination in social wasps (Polistes, Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 13, 299305.
PICKETT, K. M., McHENRY, A. & WENZEL, J. W. ( 2000). Nestmate recognition in the absence of a pheromone. Insectes Sociaux 47, 212219.
PROVOST, E., RIVIÈRE, G., ROUX, M., MORGAN, E. D. & BAGNÈRES, A.-G. ( 1993). Change in the chemical signature of the ant Leptothorax lichtensteini (Bondroit) with time. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 23, 945957.
ROSSI, F. ( 2001). Il raggiungimento del mimetismo chimico nel parassita sociale Polistes atrimandibularis (Hymenoptera Vespidae). Tesi di Laurea, Università degli Studi di Torino.
SCHEVEN, J. ( 1958). Beitrag zur Biologie der Schmarotzerfeldwespen Sulcopolistes atrimandibularis Zimm., S. semenowi F. Morawitz und S. sulcifer Zimm. Insectes Sociaux 4, 409437.
SINGER, T. L. ( 1998). Roles of hydrocarbons in the recognition systems of insects. American Zoologist 38, 394405.
SLEDGE, M. F., BOSCARO, F. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 2001 a). Cuticular hydrocarbons and reproductive status in the social wasp Polistes dominulus. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 49, 401409.
SLEDGE, M. F., DANI, F. R., CERVO, R., DAPPORTO, L. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 2001 b). Recognition of social parasites as nest-mates: adoption of colony-specific host cuticular odours by the paper wasp parasite Polistes sulcifer. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 268, 22532260.
SLEDGE, M. F., TRINCA, I., MASSOLO, A., BOSCARO, F. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 2004). Variation in cuticular hydrocarbon signatures, hormonal correlates and establishment of reproductive dominance in a polistine wasp. Journal of Insect Physiology 50, 7383.
TURILLAZZI, S., SLEDGE, M. F., DANI, F. R., CERVO, R., MASSOLO, A. & FONDELLI, L. ( 2000). Social hackers: integration in the host chemical recognition system by a paper wasp social parasite. Naturwissenschaften 87, 172176.
VAN HOOSER, C. A., GAMBOA, G. J. & FISHWILD, T. G. ( 2002). The function of abdominal stroking in the paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus (Hymenoptera Vespidae). Ethology Ecology and Evolution 14, 141148.
ZACCHI, F. ( 1995). Comportamento e ciclo coloniale di Polistes semenowi, parassita sociale di Polistes dominulus (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Thesis, University of Florence.
ZACCHI, F., CERVO, R. & TURILLAZZI, S. ( 1996). How Polistes semenowi, obligate social parasite, invades the nest of its host, Polistes dominulus (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Insect Social Life 1, 125130.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed