Sex attraction in Polistes dominulus (Christ) demonstrated using olfactometers and morphological source extracts

John K. MacKenzie, Peter J. Landolt, Richard S. Zack


Y-tube and parallel tube olfactometers were used to test for attraction between and within genders of the European paper wasp, Polistes dominulus (Christ). In the Y-tube olfactometer, umnated females were attracted to male odour, while males were repelled by umnated female odour. Males and females were not attracted to the odour of the same sex in this experiment. In the parallel tube olfactometer, females were attracted to male odour, while males were not attracted to female odour. Morphological sources of potential sex attractants were tested using an arena bioassay design. Males rubbed their mandibles and gaster on the substrate when exposed to extracts of umnated female or male tagmata, female or male legs, or the male seventh gastral sternite. We did not see overt behavioural responses by females to male or female extracts.


attractant; pheromone; Polistes dominulus; paper wasp

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