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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9665
FELIPPOTTI, Giovanna Tocchini; NOLL, Fernando Barbosa and MATEUS, Sidnei. Morphological studies on castes of Protopolybia chartergoides (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Epiponini) observed in colonies during male production stage. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2007, vol.51, n.4, pp. 494-500. ISSN 1806-9665. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0085-56262007000400015.
Social wasps are important for the study of social behavior evolution because their colonies present different degrees of caste differentiation, from morphologically similar to highly conspicuous, associated with the occasional presence of intermediate females, which bears developed ovaries but no insemination. In the Polistinae, depending on the taxon, such differentiation can be discreet or conspicuous. This work intended to study morphological and physiological differences between castes in Protopolybia chartergoides by using morphometric analyses associated with multivariate statistical analyses and physiological evaluations from females' ovarian development. Results evidence low morphological and physiological differences among the castes in P. chartergoides, indicating three groups of females: queens, workers and intermediates. In this way, it was possible to suggest that Protopolybia chartergoides presents post-imaginal caste differentiation (or a very subtle form of pre-imaginal determination).
Keywords : Caste differentiation; Polistinae; social wasps.