Polistes exclamans is also referred to by a generic name for the genus Polistes which is called paper wasps. Their colonies contain three castes: workers, queens and males, though differences between workers and queens are generally plastic and behavioral. The physiological similarities between the worker and queen castes have led to experiments attempting to distinguish the characteristics of these two castes and how they are determined.
Polistes exclamans are also interesting in their behavior and ecology. The high worker and queen mortality rate has led to the prevalence of satellite nests. The high queen mortality has also resulted in interesting responses by the worker caste. The high mortality is mainly caused by parasitoids and predation. P. exclamans have developed defense mechanisms to reduce the rate of colony extinction as a result of this predation and parasitism.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.