Hello. My name is Phil Starks. I am a graduate student at Cornell
University in the field of NeuroBiology and Behavior. I am currently
examining paper wasps, specifically Polistes dominulus. I am evaluating
their nesting behavior and population genetics.
I want to compare animals from different regions -- mostly from the
Northeast in areas between Boston, MA and Ithaca, NY. My problem is
finding these critters. They tend to congregate in the eves of man-made
structures. I have searched state parks and some universities but have
only found 4 usable sites. A usable site is one that has been relatively
undisturbed (not sprayed with insecticides) for a few years and contains 18
or more colonies.
These wasps make un-enveloped nests -- you can plainly see the cells of the
comb (it looks much like a gray honeycomb). P. dominulus is the more
yellow and smaller of the 2 Polistes species in this region (P. fuscatus
is dark brown and the larger of the two animals). At this time of year you
may see colonies with anywhere from 1 to 10 individuals, and nests that may
contain 8 to 100 cells. If you know of any potential sites please email
me. I am offering a $20.00 finder fee for useful sites.
Thanks for reading this message
Phil Starks (pts3 at cornell.edu)