Revista Brasileira de Zoologia
Print version ISSN 0101-8175
SANTOS, Gilberto M. M. et al. The use of cactus fruit food resources by social wasp (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Polistinae) in an area of Caatinga (lpirá, Bahia, Brazil). Rev. Bras. Zool. [online]. 2007, vol.24, n.4, pp. 1052-1056. ISSN 0101-8175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752007000400023.
This study aims to identify food resource plants used by social wasp species in a Caatinga area, as well as describe the local patterns of cactus fruit resources used by wasps. Nine hundreds and eight foraging wasps, belonging to nine species, were captured while visiting six cactus species. Cereus jamacaru DC. and Pilosocereus catingicola (Gurke) Byles & G.D. were the most frequently visited plants. Several wasp species and a great number of individuals visited them. Polybia paulista von Ihering, 1896, Polybia ignobilis (Haliday, 1836), Polistes versicolor (Olivier, 1791), Polistes simillimus Zikán, 1951, Polistes billardieri Fabricius, 1804, Polistes canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758), Polybia occidentalis (Olivier, 1791) and Polybia sericea (Olivier, 1705) had the larger trophic niche breadth. The highest trophic niche overlap was between Mischocyttarus lanei Zikán, 1949 and Polistes simillimus Zikán, 1951 (0.83). The high niche overlap among social wasps seems to be resulting of the generalist behavior of the social wasp, as well as of the intensive exploration of few cactus species.
Keywords : Semi-arid; trophic niche; wasp assemblage.