W.A.S.P, or an actual wasp?
Wasps can recognise other wasps of the same species perhaps with even greater accuracy than we humans can spot a W.A.S.P (white anglo saxon protestant) in the north east of America, new research shows.
It's been known since 2002 that the golden paper wasp, or Polistes fuscates, could recognise members of the same species from their facial markings, but the question has been whether this is a skill learned over the wasp's lifetime, or if it's happened through evolution.
If the ability had evolved, it would be similar to humans and other vetebrates which have specialised brain areas dedicated to this task, and would suggest there are many more cases of animals which have developed such specialised learning abilities.
Researchers at the University of Michigan believe they have gone some way to solving the conundrum. Find out more...