Wasps with no social life may find it harder to recognise others

Paper wasps can recognise faces of others in their group 

Samuel Williams / Alamy

Paper wasps that live alone don’t see as much development of a part of their brain that seems to be important for facial recognition. The discovery shows how vital the social environment can be to brain development, even in biologically simple animals like insects.

Northern paper wasps (Polistes fuscatus) usually live in groups of around a dozen, though these sometimes comprise up to 100 individuals. Group members all share umbrella-shaped nests, often built beneath roof hangings. The wasps can live their entire adult lives alone, but they rarely…

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