Prevalence of the parasite Strepsiptera in Polistes as detected by dissection of immatures

David Peter Hughes, L. Beani, S. Turillazzi, J. Kathirithamby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Though the paper wasp genus, Polistes, is well studied, we know little of the incidence of parasitism in this group. Here we present details of 45 nest dissections for 4 species: P. dominulus (Christ), P. gallicus (L.), P. stabilinus Richards and P. carnifex (F.) to detail levels of parasitism of colony members by the obligate parasitic group of insects, the Strepsiptera. All 4 species showed evidence of parasitism among immature members. For 3 species, more than 50% of inspected nests were parasitized and the levels of parasitism among brood (larvae and pupae) was very high and did not differ significantly between parasitized nests. One species, P. stabilinus, suffered very low levels of parasitism, which may be related to its habitat choice. The number of parasites per host was positively related to the proportion of infected brood (parasite prevalence) and in some cases reached phenomenally high levels, which casts doubt on previously assumed mechanisms of infection for nest-making Hymenoptera, i.e. phoresy. We also document cases of egg parasitism and encapsulation in Polistes nests. Our data show that parasitism levels greatly varied among areas. Finally, the recent debate on the competitive advantage of P. dominulus in its introduced range, USA, has credited an absence of strepsipteran parasites of this species in facilitating its spread. For the first time, we document levels of parasitism for this species in its nature P range and this would appear to corroborate previous claims. We place our work in the context of other studies of parasitism of social insects and posit that the genus Polistes may have much to offer to this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 27 2003

Fingerprint

Strepsiptera
Polistes
dissection
parasitism
parasite
immatures
parasites
nest
nests
phoresy
Polistes dominula
parasite prevalence
brood parasitism
social insect
encapsulation
social insects
working conditions
pupa
wasp
egg masses

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

Cite this

Hughes, David Peter ; Beani, L. ; Turillazzi, S. ; Kathirithamby, J. / Prevalence of the parasite Strepsiptera in Polistes as detected by dissection of immatures. In: Insectes Sociaux. 2003 ; Vol. 50, No. 1. pp. 62-68.
@article{ff3c806755ec46d8a2bda40cfd5f2407,
title = "Prevalence of the parasite Strepsiptera in Polistes as detected by dissection of immatures",
abstract = "Though the paper wasp genus, Polistes, is well studied, we know little of the incidence of parasitism in this group. Here we present details of 45 nest dissections for 4 species: P. dominulus (Christ), P. gallicus (L.), P. stabilinus Richards and P. carnifex (F.) to detail levels of parasitism of colony members by the obligate parasitic group of insects, the Strepsiptera. All 4 species showed evidence of parasitism among immature members. For 3 species, more than 50{\%} of inspected nests were parasitized and the levels of parasitism among brood (larvae and pupae) was very high and did not differ significantly between parasitized nests. One species, P. stabilinus, suffered very low levels of parasitism, which may be related to its habitat choice. The number of parasites per host was positively related to the proportion of infected brood (parasite prevalence) and in some cases reached phenomenally high levels, which casts doubt on previously assumed mechanisms of infection for nest-making Hymenoptera, i.e. phoresy. We also document cases of egg parasitism and encapsulation in Polistes nests. Our data show that parasitism levels greatly varied among areas. Finally, the recent debate on the competitive advantage of P. dominulus in its introduced range, USA, has credited an absence of strepsipteran parasites of this species in facilitating its spread. For the first time, we document levels of parasitism for this species in its nature P range and this would appear to corroborate previous claims. We place our work in the context of other studies of parasitism of social insects and posit that the genus Polistes may have much to offer to this field.",
author = "Hughes, {David Peter} and L. Beani and S. Turillazzi and J. Kathirithamby",
year = "2003",
month = "3",
day = "27",
doi = "10.1007/s000400300010",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "50",
pages = "62--68",
journal = "Insectes Sociaux",
issn = "0020-1812",
publisher = "Birkhauser Verlag Basel",
number = "1",

}

Prevalence of the parasite Strepsiptera in Polistes as detected by dissection of immatures. / Hughes, David Peter; Beani, L.; Turillazzi, S.; Kathirithamby, J.

In: Insectes Sociaux, Vol. 50, No. 1, 27.03.2003, p. 62-68.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prevalence of the parasite Strepsiptera in Polistes as detected by dissection of immatures

AU - Hughes, David Peter

AU - Beani, L.

AU - Turillazzi, S.

AU - Kathirithamby, J.

PY - 2003/3/27

Y1 - 2003/3/27

N2 - Though the paper wasp genus, Polistes, is well studied, we know little of the incidence of parasitism in this group. Here we present details of 45 nest dissections for 4 species: P. dominulus (Christ), P. gallicus (L.), P. stabilinus Richards and P. carnifex (F.) to detail levels of parasitism of colony members by the obligate parasitic group of insects, the Strepsiptera. All 4 species showed evidence of parasitism among immature members. For 3 species, more than 50% of inspected nests were parasitized and the levels of parasitism among brood (larvae and pupae) was very high and did not differ significantly between parasitized nests. One species, P. stabilinus, suffered very low levels of parasitism, which may be related to its habitat choice. The number of parasites per host was positively related to the proportion of infected brood (parasite prevalence) and in some cases reached phenomenally high levels, which casts doubt on previously assumed mechanisms of infection for nest-making Hymenoptera, i.e. phoresy. We also document cases of egg parasitism and encapsulation in Polistes nests. Our data show that parasitism levels greatly varied among areas. Finally, the recent debate on the competitive advantage of P. dominulus in its introduced range, USA, has credited an absence of strepsipteran parasites of this species in facilitating its spread. For the first time, we document levels of parasitism for this species in its nature P range and this would appear to corroborate previous claims. We place our work in the context of other studies of parasitism of social insects and posit that the genus Polistes may have much to offer to this field.

AB - Though the paper wasp genus, Polistes, is well studied, we know little of the incidence of parasitism in this group. Here we present details of 45 nest dissections for 4 species: P. dominulus (Christ), P. gallicus (L.), P. stabilinus Richards and P. carnifex (F.) to detail levels of parasitism of colony members by the obligate parasitic group of insects, the Strepsiptera. All 4 species showed evidence of parasitism among immature members. For 3 species, more than 50% of inspected nests were parasitized and the levels of parasitism among brood (larvae and pupae) was very high and did not differ significantly between parasitized nests. One species, P. stabilinus, suffered very low levels of parasitism, which may be related to its habitat choice. The number of parasites per host was positively related to the proportion of infected brood (parasite prevalence) and in some cases reached phenomenally high levels, which casts doubt on previously assumed mechanisms of infection for nest-making Hymenoptera, i.e. phoresy. We also document cases of egg parasitism and encapsulation in Polistes nests. Our data show that parasitism levels greatly varied among areas. Finally, the recent debate on the competitive advantage of P. dominulus in its introduced range, USA, has credited an absence of strepsipteran parasites of this species in facilitating its spread. For the first time, we document levels of parasitism for this species in its nature P range and this would appear to corroborate previous claims. We place our work in the context of other studies of parasitism of social insects and posit that the genus Polistes may have much to offer to this field.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0346034941&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0346034941&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s000400300010

DO - 10.1007/s000400300010

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0346034941

VL - 50

SP - 62

EP - 68

JO - Insectes Sociaux

JF - Insectes Sociaux

SN - 0020-1812

IS - 1

ER -