International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Evidence of visual cues in the hierarchical dominance system in Mischocyttarus cerberus (Hymenoptera, Vespidae)

Author(s):
Rafael Carvalho da Silva, Rafael Carvalho da Silva , Amanda Prato da Silva , Diego Santana Assis , Fábio Santos do Nascimento
Institution(s):
Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil; Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil ; Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil ; Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil ; Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil
The different types of ornaments presented by animals are thought to be signals of quality. Some primitively paper wasps are good examples of social insects that use ornaments to convey specific messages about their reproductive status, ability of fight or reproductive status. Depending on the species these signals are spots that can be found in their heads or abdomen, and they can vary in terms of size, shape or patterns of brokenness. Even that it happens in some species of wasps, in Mischocyttarus that occurs almost exclusively in the Neotropics, these phenomena were not documented.Thus, the aim of this work is to report evidences of existence of system of visual signalization in Mischocyttarus cerberus by comparing dominant and subordinate females. We determined dominance hierarchy and measured the areas of black spot in their vertex.We observed a significant difference between the proportion of spots of females occupying different dominance status. On the other hand, there was no correlation between the proportion of spots and relative body size. Our results suggest that naturally spots of dominant females are really bigger than those found in subordinates, which could reflect quality signals and perhaps be involved in their social interactions. Although we are reporting preliminary results about the presence of system of visual communication in a single Mischocyttarus species, these findings are important to elucidate the mechanism used in their social contexts.
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