"Everybody loves bees, but their cousins the wasps often provoke a far less
friendly reaction. The much-maligned insects often inspire fear, disgust or
even the “kill it with fire” response.
The stereotypical wasp is the angular, angry-looking vespid with black and
yellow stripes known as the European wasp (Vespula vulgaris
). It has a
reputation for aggression, stinging multiple times and contributing little to
society. But that’s just one of more than 100,000 known wasp species with a
wide range of appearances, many of which don’t even sting.
In our work with wasps, we have found these innocent insects have done little
to deserve our scorn. In fact, they have surprisingly complex minds and can
play important ecological roles.
Our latest study, published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
European wasps have impressive abilities to learn visual tasks in different
ways depending on how we train them. It adds to a growing body of research
about what wasp’s minds can do – including recognising human faces and learning
other complex tasks."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics