Wasps Never Forget a Face

Never forget a face? Neither do wasps! Scientists have discovered that Polistes fuscatus paper wasps can recognize and remember each other's faces with amazing accuracy.

Study co-author Michael Sheehan explains why this may be important to wasps:

The unique, distinct faces of P. fuscatus wasps, as well as the wasps' ability to recognize and remember each others' faces, are likely tied to the insects' multicolony social structure, Sheehan added.

"They have multiple queens and they all want to reproduce—they all want to be the most dominant. So being able to recognize each other helps them understand who's already beaten who, who has higher ranking in the hierarchy, and this helps to keep the peace.

"When they aren't able to recognize each other, [as] we've shown before, there was more aggression."


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