Foraging behavior of the swarm-founding wasp, Polybia (Trichothorax) sericea (Hymenoptera, Vespidae): Prey capture and load capacity

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2009-02-16

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The main component of the protein diet of P. sericea was larvae of Lepidoptera (75.38%), with predominance of the following Families: Noctuidae (30.99 %), Hesperiidae (19.01 %); Pyralidae (19.01 %) and Nymphalidae (11.98%). The average weight of the prey captured was 14.2 mg, a value equivalent to 24.7 % of the average wasp weight. The average glucidic food load was 28.61 mg, corresponding to approximately half the wasp weight (49.64%). The weight of the load transported in the crop varied according to the food density, which, in turn, influenced the time spent in its collection (Pearson: n= 64; r= 0.64; p<0.05).Polybiasericea showed predatory interactions against Lepidopteran caterpillars, who are known to be agricultural pests. P. sericea has potential to be used in Integrated Pest Management.

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Sociobiology, v. 53, n. 1, p. 61-69, 2009.

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