Research Reports: Observations on the Mating Behavior of Male Stictia Heros (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)

  • Ethel M. Villalobos
  • Todd E. Shelly


Males of the neotropical sand wasp Stictia heros (Fabr.) displayed territorial behavior in female nesting areas, presumably to gain access to newly eclosed virgin females. Males hovered above a fixed point of the beach and defended small areas (1 m@^2) with rapid flights at all intruders. Observations of marked individuals revealed that males defend the same site for at least several days. Unlike head and abdominal temperatures, the thoracic temperature of males varied independently of ambient temperature, indicating active thermoregulation of the flight muscles. Differences between our results and those of Larson (1989) are discussed.
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