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Polistes wasp

Polistes versicolor

Description:

Polistes versicolor wasp on Cryptocarpus flowers

Habitat:

All over the islands, but more common in the arid and littoral zones.

Notes:

This predatory wasp, accidentally introduced to the Galapagos Islands in the 1980's, has certainly contributed to the decline of other insect species, particularly moths and butterflies, as these wasps hunt for caterpillars. Interestingly, one of the main controlling agents of this wasp species on the Galapagos is a small moth, Taygete sphecophila. The female moth lays her eggs in the pupal cells of the wasps and the moth caterpillar eats the wasps' pupae.

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1 Comment

Thanks for the interesting background, Bernard!

Ecuador

Spotted on Dec 3, 2004
Submitted on Dec 3, 2012

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