Building activity and longevity of queenless groups of the Oriental hornet, Vespa orientalis Academic Article uri icon


  • The effect of group size on behavioral parameters of the Oriental hornet,Vespa orientalis, was assessed experimentally under laboratory conditions. Hornet groups of various sizes (ranging from 1 to 100 individuals per group) comprised of young individuals (0–24 hr of age) devoid of a queen were placed in artificial breeding boxes (ABBs). The following three quantitative parameters were evaluated: the amount and rate of building as a function of the number of hornets in the group, the rate of oviposition as, related to group size and the longevity of hornets as a function of their group size. The probability for the occurrence of these events was similarly considered and additional behavioral parameters were only assessed qualitatively. Results of this investigation revealed a relation between the three mentioned quantitative behavioral parameters and the number of hornets per group. The number of hornets per group was positively related to the extent of building, the number of cells built by a group is 2π groupsize − − − − − − − − √ 2 , but negatively related to the rate of building. As for the delay of building, a non-monotone relation was found. The relation between number of hornets per group and the oviposition delay was found to be non-monotone; the number of hornets per group and their longevity were found to be inversely related. Discrepanices were recorded on the very small (1–2 individuals) or very large (100 individuals) hornet groups.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995