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Old 12-02-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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Default Some Wasps Recognize Faces

"Wasps with many queens will remember your face as they sting you"

"For most of us humans (and other species), the ability to recognize faces comes so naturally that we don’t even think about it. However, many other animals lack the ability to distinguish between individual faces, even when they are faces of their own species. Even closely related species within a single genus sometimes display variability in this type of individual recognition. So what determines whether an animal can learn to identify the faces of its conspecifics?

New research in Science suggests that face learning may be shaped by the specific ecology of individual species. To study this, researchers used Polistes fuscatus, a species of paper wasp, that is excellent at facial recognition. P. fuscatus has all the ingredients necessary for this cognitive ability: they have excellent vision, their nests are well-lit, their facial features are highly variable, and (perhaps most importantly) they have multiple queens."

Wasps with many queens will remember your face as they sting you
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
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Way cool.... maybe they'll recognize our faces and leave us alone. You probably caught that the photo of the nest they inserted in that article was P. dominula. Here's hoping any of those that get away from me aren't as good at face reognition as our milder mannered native paper wasps. I've been killing any European paper wasps and feeding em to my "girls" but... some do get away on me.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
You probably caught that the photo of the nest they inserted in that article was P. dominula.
??? Are we looking at the same photo? Polistes dominula (see http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/07/29/WaspNest.jpg) look quite different than the P. fuscata in the article I cited.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:22 PM   #4
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"The wasps did, however, have trouble learning faces without antennae..."

I think we are safe. The article was titled as though the wasps recognized human faces, but the research was on them recognizing other wasp faces. I suspect that with the differences in scale between wasps and humans, they might have trouble recognizing that we have faces.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Oopsie, we’re not looking at the same photo!!! Sorry about that suunto. I know exactly how I screwed up. I keep files of “stuff” I find interesting that I might be able to use some day and snitched the wrong link when I was posting back from my list. Here’s where I was, Paper Wasp - Polistes Fuscatus.
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