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ORIGINAL PAPER Individual specialization in the hunting wasp Trypoxylon

Individual specialization in the hunting wasp Trypoxylon
(Trypargilum) albonigrum (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae)
Márcio S. Araújo & Marcelo O. Gonzaga
Received: 18 November 2006 /Revised: 25 March 2007 /Accepted: 9 May 2007 /Published online: 23 May 2007
# Springer-Verlag 2007
Abstract Individual-level variation in resource use occurs
in a broad array of vertebrate and invertebrate taxa and may
have important ecological and evolutionary implications. In
this study, we measured the degree of individual-level
variation in prey preference of the hunting wasp Trypoxylon
albonigrum, which inhabits the Atlantic Forest in south-
eastern Brazil. This wasp captures several orb-weaving
spider genera to provision nests. Individuals consistently
specialized on a narrow subset of the prey taxa consumed by
the population, indicating the existence of significant
individual-level variation in prey preferences. The population
niche was broader in the wet season in terms of both prey size
and taxa. In the case of prey size, the population niche ex-
pansion was achieved via increased individual niche


Source: Araújo, Márcio S. - Marine Sciences Program, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine