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Species Page - Dolichovespula arctica
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scientific name    Dolichovespula arctica    

Found in Boreal regions of the Nearctic (Miller, 1961).

Dolichovespula arctica queens invade the host nest and lay their eggs in early July (Archer, 2006). The male inquiline wasps will emerge in late July while the queens emerge in early August (Archer, 2006). The males and queens leave on mating flights while the workers stay behind (Archer, 2006). The total colony cycle usually lasts for roughly 2.8 months (Archer, 2006).

Dolichovespula arctica wasps have black and white colouration (Miller, 1961). Pale yellow colouration may also occur but is more common in wasps residing in western Nearctic regions (Buck et al., 2008). Female wasps have forewings spanning 13-14mm while males have forewings spanning 10-12mm in length (Buck et al., 2008). The clypeus has an elongate black discal spot that often extends to ventral margins in males of the species (Buck et al., 2008). A white band is located on the postocular region of the head and may be narrowed if the wasp is female, however this narrowing is not seen in the males (Buck et al., 2008). Another white band exists on the posterior of the pronotum, and the metanotum may contain a pair of ivory spots, however sometimes these are lacking (most often in males) (Buck et al., 2008).
The apical fascia of tergum 1 is usually strongly reduced and in males, tergum 2 is also reduced or absent (Buck et al., 2008). Female wasps have a pair of black discal spots on tergum 5, but may also be present on terga 3-5 (Buck et al., 2008). Terga 6-7 in males are often completely black and lack white spots (Buck et al., 2008).

life history
Dolichovespula arctica is an obligate parasite of D. arenaria and D. norvegicoides (Miller, 1961). These wasps do not have a worker caste (Miller, 1961) and do not create their own nests (Greene et al., 1978). The D. arctica queen invades its host nest early in the season and proceeds to co-exist with the host queen for roughly 10 days (Archer, 2006). Eventually, the inquiline queen destroys the host queen, and her eggs are laid in the nest and reared by the host workers (Miller, 1961).

No concerns listed.

diet info
Dolichovespula primarily hunt live prey (Akre, 1982). These wasps feed on a variety of insects and other arthropods, also occasionally feeding on nectar and larval secretions (Akre, 1982).

Distributed throughout North America (Miller 1961).

Dolichovespula arctica was considered to be conspecific with D. vulperina (Archer, 2006) but recently was reinstated as a valid species (Kimsey & Carpenter, 2012). Dolichovespula arctica is found in Nearctic regions while D. adulterina is found in Palearctic regions.

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References (6)
Specimen Info
There are 15 specimens of this species in the online database
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Specimen List (15)


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