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2 polygynous over wintered vespula squamosa colonies from the southeastern usa hymenoptera vespidae

, : 2 polygynous over wintered vespula squamosa colonies from the southeastern usa hymenoptera vespidae. Florida Entomologist 65(1): 176-184

Two overwintered colonies of V. squamosa (Drury) are described and compared to conspecific annual colonies from the same region. Volumes occupied by the overwintered nests were 35 and 60 l with total cell counts of 65,000 and 95,000, respectively. The larger nest (Highlands County, Florida) contained 101 queens with well developed ovaries; the 2nd nest (Clarke County, Georgia) had 7 such functional queens but no large (reproductive) cell comb had been constructed. Overwintered Vespula nests are typically characterized by unusually large size, multiple functional queens, decreased winter brood production, and production of reproductives through the winter. Genetically determined plasticity in reproductive and colony ontogeny may have adaptive value in areas where overwintered nests occur.


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