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Abstract

The influence of temperature on the preening of foraging wasps (Paravespula vulgaris) collecting sucrose solution at an artificial food source is described. The temperature has an influence on the number of preening movements performed per unit time (= rate of preening) as well as on the spatial distribution of the preening movements. The rate of preening as a function of the temperature is explained in a quantitative manner using a diagram, which corresponds to the disinhibition hypothesis for displacement activities. This also holds true for the honeybee. The degree of disinhibition of the preening tendency does not determine the spatial distribution of the preening movements.