Mexican Paper Wasp

Meet Mischocyttarus mexicanus, the Mexican paper wasp. This eusocial species has actually been extensively studied, because individual wasps employ different reproductive strategies over their lifetime, including nesting individually and as a colony, brood parasitism (with unrelated conspecifics) and usurpation. This “reproductive generalization” is unusual behavior.

M. mexicanus can be found all over the southern United States and into Costa Rica. They eat nectar as well as other, smaller insects — and occasionally each other.

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