Studying temporal and spatial changes of aggregations of digger wasps through nesting seasons is interesting because of its link to social evolution via a semi-social pathway, but information about this topic is scarce. An aggregation of Cerceris arenaria Latreille was studied during 1997-1999 and for a short period in 2001. The colony grew in area and number of nests through the first three seasons, but the aggregation reduced in 2001, and this decrease was confirmed by a count of nests made in 2003 and 2005. The positions of the nest entrances remained almost constant over the years, at least in high-nest-density areas, because of the repeated use of the same burrows from which they emerged. This fact permits the population to exploit for many years a restricted area and could act as a nest-density-regulation method for fossorial species that rarely dig new nests, preventing an excessive nest density. The newly emerged females did not dig new nests, showed a high philopatry in the choice of their first nest, and preferred to look for other nests to occupy close to the ones recently abandoned (mainly for an undergone usurpation by a conspecific female). Philopatry, along with lack of new nest digging and position-dependent nest choice, is probably an important factor maintaining spatial stability of the aggregation through the years and could represent a first step in the evolution of a higher sociality in apoid burrowing Hymenoptera.
|Titolo:||Philopatry, nest choice and aggregation temporal-spatial change in the digger wasp Cerceris arenaria (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae)|
|Parole Chiave:||Cerceris arenaria ; Nests aggregation ; philopatry ; space exploitation ; social evolution|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|