Wasps of the genus Polistes were used to determine the effects of larval nutrition, position within the nest, and parasitism on ovarian development. Polistes nests were collected from Iowa, Minnesota, and Utah during the summer of 1994. The wasps were reared out, dissected, and their ovaries examined. The total number of oocytes and the size of the largest oocyte were used as measurements of ovarian development. Due to difficulties hand feeding the larvae, no data was obtained concerning the effect of larval nutrition on ovarian development. Data from first emergence nests of Minnesota were inconclusive. However, data from the second emergence nests of Utah, which were about three times larger than the nests from Minnesota, indicated that the position within the nest does have an effect on the total number of and size of the oocytes. The Utah Polistes which emerged from the interior cells had larger and more numerous oocytes than those from the exterior cells. The results indicate that there may be additional factors, such as nest size or nest age, which may affect the size and number of oocytes. Parasitized and non-parasitized Polistes from the same colony were examined to determine the effect of parasitism on ovarian development. Data indicated that parasitized Polistes have a smaller size and number of oocytes than non-parasitized Polistes.
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Mengelkoch, Jean, "Regulating Factors of Ovarian Development in Paper Wasps of the Genus Polistes" (1995). Honors Theses. 533.