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Volume 2011, Article ID 542487, 8 pages
Research Article

Environmental Factors Influencing Foraging Activity in the Social Wasp Polybia paulista (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Epiponini)

Laboratório de Vespas Sociais, Departamento de Zoologia e Botânica, IBILCE-UNESP, Rua Cristóvão Colombo 2265, 15054-000 São José do Rio Preto SP, Brazil

Received 23 February 2011; Revised 20 April 2011; Accepted 16 May 2011

Academic Editor: James Charles Nieh

Copyright © 2011 Naila Cristina de Souza Canevazzi and Fernando Barbosa Noll. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Foraging behavior in social wasps is important in the development of the colony and reflects an important ecological interaction between the colony and the environment. Although the social traits of the colony play a role in the foraging activities, the conditions that establish the space and time limits are mainly physical. Here, we evaluate colonies of Polybia paulista throughout one year in order to verify the foraging activities and the items collected, as well as the importance of temperature, relative humidity, and solar radiation on motivating foraging. Collection of liquids was always higher than that of solids; preys were collected all year long, and nests showed two annual episodic expansions. The linear mixed effects (LME) model used to analyze which weather factors influence the foraging showed temperature as the most influencing factor on the collection of materials.