The chemical composition and the ultrastructure of the nest paper of Polistes dominulus (Christ, 1791) and Polistes nimpha (Christ, 1791) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Adana Province (Türkiye)



The nest architectures are important for the classification of Vespidae.  There are both intraspecific and interspecific differences in nest architecture and its ultrastructure. In this work, the properties of materials used in the nest construction of Polistes dominulus (Christ, 1791) and Polistes nimpha (Christ, 1791) were picked from Adana province (Türkiye) were determined and compared. Although the nests of the two species are architecturally similar, microscopic examination revealed differences in structural features. Differences in fiber thickness, amount of oral secretion, water holding capacity, amount of oil, and chemical elements were determined. As a result of elemental analysis, C, O, N were determined as major elements and Si, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Cl, and K as minor elements. Differences may be due to the choice of nest material by the wasps.


Paper wasp, nest material, Adana, Turkey

Full Text:



Bagrıaçık N. (2011). Determination of some structural features of the nest paper of Vespa orientalis Linneaus 1771 and Vespa crabro Linneaus, 1758 (Hymenoptera: Vespinae) in Turkey. Archives of Biological Sciences, 63(2): 449-455.

Bagrıaçık N. (2012). Comparison of the nest materials of Polistes gallicus (L.), Polistes dominulus (Christ) and Polistes nimpha (Christ) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Archives Biological Sciences Belgrade, 64 (3): 1079-1084.

Bağrıaçık N. (2013a). Some structural features of nest materials of Polistes nimpha (Christ, 1791) in several ecological conditions (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Journal of the Entomological Research Society, 15(3): 1-7.

Bağrıaçık N. (2013b). Some structural features of the nest materials of Dolichovespula Sylvestris (Scopoli, 1763) and Dolichovespula media (Retzius, 1783) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Journal of Selcuk University Natural and Applied Science, 1(1): 893-902.

Biermann, C.J. (1993). Essentials of Pulping and Papermaking. Academic Press Limited, London.

Cole M.R., Hansell M.H. & Seath C.J. 2001. A quantitative study of the physical properties of nest paper in three species of Vespine wasps (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Insectes Sociaux, 48(1): 33-39.

Curtis T.R., Aponte Y. & Stamp N.E. (2005). Nest paper absorbency, toughness and protein concentration of a native vs. invasive social wasp. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 31(5): 1089-1100.

Downing H. & Jeanne R.L. (1986). Intra- and interspecific variation in nest architecture in the paper wasp Polistes (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Insectes Sociaux, 33: 422-443

Edwards R. 1980. Social Wasps. Their Biology and Control. Rentokil, East Grinstead, UK.

Erturk Ö. (2017). Determination of some structural features of the nest paper materials of Dolichovespula saxonica Fabricius, 1793 (Hymenoptera: Vespinae) in Turkey. Entomological Research, 47(5): 286-294.

Ertürk Ö. & Bağdatlı E. (2018). Investigations on morphology of the European Hornet (Vespa crabro) nest and biological development situations of the larvae. Acta Biologica Turcica, 31(2): 36-41,

Erturk O. & Bagdatli E. (2019). Comprehensive study on nest materials of Vespa crabro and Polistes dominula: Chemical properties and biological characterization with antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Biologia, 74: 797–812.

Espelie K.E. & Hermann H.R. (1990). Surface lipids of the social wasp Polistes annularis (L.) and its nest and nest pedicel. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 16(12): 1841–1852.

Espelie K.E. & Himmelsbach D.S. (1990). Characterization of pedicel, paper and larval silk from nest of Polistes annularis (L.). Journal of Chemical Ecology, 16(12): 3467-3477.

Evans H.E. & West Eberhard M.J. (1970). The Wasps, Michigan University Press, Michigan, USA.

Ganor, E. & Ishay J.S. (1992). The cement in hornet combs. Journal of Ethology,10: 31-39

Greene A. (1991). Dolichovespula and Vespula. In: Ross K.G. and R.W.Matthews (Eds.), The Social Biology of Wasps, (pp.263-304). Cornell Univ. Pres, Ithaca.

Ishay J.S., Barkay Z., Eliaz N., Plotkin M., Volynchik S. & Bergman D.J. (2008). Gravity orientation in social wasp comb cells (Vespinae) and the possible role of embedded minerals. Naturwissenschaften, 95:333–342

Ishay, J.S., Riabinin, K., Kozhevnikov, M., van der Want, H. & Stokroos, I. (2003). A Keystone-Like Grain in Hornet Comb Cells: Its Nature and Physical Properties. Biomacromolecules, 4(3): 649-656.

Jeanne R.L. (1975). The adaptiveness of social wasp nest architecture. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 50(3): 267-287.

Kudô K. (2000). Variable investments in nest and worker product on by the foundresses of Polistes chinensis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Journal of Ethology, 18(1): 37-41.

Kudô K., Hozumi S., Yamamoto H. & Yamane S. (2000). Amino acid composition of the protein in preemergence nests of Polistes (Polistes) riparius, and its similarity to the consubgeneric wasp, P. (P.) chinensis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Journal of Ethology, 18(1): 75-77.

Kudô K., Yamane S. & Yamamoto H. (1998). Physiological ecology of nest construction and protein flow in preemergence colonies of Polistes chinensis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae): Effects of rainfall and microclimates. Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 10: 171-183.

Kudô K., Yamane S.O., Mateus S., Tsuchida K., Ito Y., Miyano S., Yamamoto H. & Zucchi R. (2001). Nest materials and some chemical characteristics of nests of a New World swarm founding polistinae wasp Polybia paulista (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 13: 351-360.

MacDonald J.F. (1980). Biology, Recognition, Medical Importance and Control of Indiana Social Wasps, Purdue University Press, Indiana, USA.

Maschwitz U., Dorow W.H.O. & Botz T. (1990). Chemical composition of the nest walls, and nesting behaviour, of Ropalidia (Icarielia) opifex van der Vecht, 1962 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), a Southeast Asian social wasp with translucent nest. Journal of Natural History, 24: 1311-1319.

Matsuura M. (1991). Vespa and Provespa. In: Ross K.G. and Matthews R.W. (Eds.), The social biology of wasps, (pp. 232-262). Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca.

Matsuura M. & Yamane S.K. (1990). Biology of Vespinae Wasps. Springer Verlag, Berlin.

McGovern J.N., Jeanne R.L. & Effland M.J. (1988). The nature of wasp nest paper. Tappi Journal, 71: 133-139.

Reeve H.K. (1991). Polistes. In: K.G. Ross and R.W.Matthews (Eds.), The Social Biology of Wasps, (pp. 99-148). Cornell University Pres, USA.

Singer T.L., Espelie K.E. & Himmelsbach D.S. (1992). Ultrastructural and chemical examination of paper and pedicel from laboratory and field nests of the social wasp Polistes metricus Say. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 18 (1): 77-86.

Spradbery J.V. (1973). Wasps. An account of the biology and natural history of social and solitary wasps. Sidgwick and Jackson Pres, London.

Wenzel J.W. (1991). Evolution of Nest Architecture. In: K.G. Ross and R.W.Matthews (Eds.), The Social Biology of Wasps, (pp. 480-519). Cornell Univesity Press, USA.

Wenzel J.W. (1998). A Generic Key to The Nests of Hornets, Yellowjackets, and Paper Wasps Worldwide (Vespidae, Vespinae, Polistinae), American Museum Novitates, USA.

Yamane S., Kudô K., Tajima T., Nihon’yanagi K., Shinoda M., Saito K. & Yamamoto H. (1998). Comparison of investment in nest construction by the foundresses of consubgeneric Polistes wasps, P. riparius and P. chinensis (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Journal of Ethology, 16(2): 97-104.

Yildirim, E. & Kojima J. (1999). Distributional checklist of the family Vespidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Aculeata) of Turkey. Natural History of Bulletin Ibaraki University, 3: 19-50.


  • There are currently no refbacks.