Behavior Clip Index

Chewing Fighting Food Sharing

Laying Eggs Lunging Nest Building

nderstanding Behavior

Interpretation of behavior can lead to a greater understanding of the species and its sociality. Behavioral analysis, however, is often tedious and frustrating. Upon initial observation, patterns of behavior and reasons for certain behaviors may be indiscernible. Even when hypothesizes are made concerning the behavior, collecting enough data to make a valid conclusion can be extremely time consuming.

Polistes bellicosus, however, compared to other species, is fairly easy to observe. Behavior can be easily broken down into categories and interpreted. The open nest facilitates observation, and individuals can be easily marked. Furthermore, with the latest video technology, hours of videotape of colonies can be collected for later analysis.

ideo Behavior

Look at the short behavior clips. For each clip, try to determine the reason for the behavior as well as the social importance of the behavior.

The clips of behavior display only a fraction of the various behaviors associated with Polistine wasps. The videotapes of the three colonies associated with this project give further insight into wasp behavior. The tapes consist of two hours of videotape of each nest prior to queen removal and two hours of video tape after queen removal. On each of the nests, wasps were marked with paint to allow individuals to be distinguished.

Hints for Video Watching and Data Recording:

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© Joan E. Strassmann, reproduction by permission only
updated 4 April 1996,