Toss in Poodle's paranoia about Giant Cicada Killer Wasps and their impending take over of Augusta's famous twelfth hole--despite the attempts of entomology professor Jeevpil Biswapati and his flamethrower--and you end up with a "toonamint" even the Marx brothers would roll their eyes at.
We investigated the possibility that nepotism toward non-descendant kin occurs in a solitary hymenopteran, the cicada killer wasp (Sphecius speciosus).
Regardless of the ultimate selective basis of neighbor tolerance in cicada killer wasps, finding that neighbors are kin would suggest that the capacity for nepotism can evolve in a solitary species and thus that such an ability may have been a key pre-adaptation for the evolution of cooperative nesting among kin.
The present study is an expansion of this earlier work; our focus was on only these 2 locations in north Florida, and the application of additional sampling methods has provided us with a very different, and likely a clearer, understanding of cicada killer hunting and provisioning in environments with a broad diversity of potential cicada prey.
As in a New Jersey cicada killer population (Grant 2006), the upper limit for prey load appears to be 2.