Currently viewing the category: "Paper Wasps"
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Cicada killer?
Location: Doylestown PA/ Stephens City VA
August 10, 2011 6:31 am
Greetings!
I have what I believe are cicada killer wasps living in my backyard:dirt mounds with tunnels, siting of very large(3 inches) insect like the one in the photo going into said mound. Meanwhile, my neice in VA took a pic that looks exactly like the critter I saw going into the mounds.My questions are: is this a photo on a cicada killer female, and what is going on in this photo?
Signature: Deb Kerns

Red Footed Cannibalfly dines on Paper Wasp

Hi Deb,
The behavior you describe is consistent with that of Cicada Killers, however, the predator in the attached photo is a Robber Fly known as a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  It is feeding on a Paper Wasp.  Red Footed Cannibalflies would not be building underground nests, so despite the striped abdomen, if you compare this predator with this Cicada Killer image from our archives, you will see the apparent differences between the two insects.  The Cicada Killer is a much more robust insect.  Not having a photo in front of you and trusting your memory might be creating a false similarity between the two species.

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Paper Wasp skins, preps Caterpillar for larvae
Location: Clarksburg, MA
August 1, 2011 10:51 am
Hello! I noticed the Golden Paper Wasp post, and that you mentioned how the wasps feed caterpillars to their young. I just happened to be photographing bugs yesterday and I caught what I believe is a Common or Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) already in the process of skinning a caterpillar. In the first picture, you can see it’s chewing/cutting off the head and thorax regions, which eventually were totally severed and fell to the ground. It then started chewing and balling up what was left. I was a little confused, because I thought it was actually eating the caterpillar, but your other post clarified that they chew ’em up for the kiddies. Thought you might like a couple pics. Enjoy!
Signature: Michael Marlow

Paper Wasp Skins Caterpillar

Hi Michael,
What wonderful photographs you have supplied to us of a Northern Paper Wasp skinning a Caterpillar in support of the information we just posted on the Golden Paper Wasp.

Paper Wasp Skins Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp Heaven Today
Location: Hawthorne, CA
July 31, 2011 9:08 pm
Hi,
Today we had three ”new” wasps to the yarden for this year. Two I was able to identify when they visited last year, the Great Golden Digger (my favorite) and one other. I haven’t been able to identify the one in the images attached, though. Can you help? It’s quite good sized, but not as large as the Golden Digger.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Golden Paper Wasp

Hi Anna,
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and though there is some question as to whether it is a species or a subspecies, we believe this is a Golden Paper Wasp, Polistes aurifer, which you may verify by comparing your individual to this photo on BugGuide.  A small colony builds a suspended nest and workers tend to the larvae, which are fed skinned and pre-chewed caterpillars.  The Golden Paper Wasp in your photo is probably searching for Caterpillars on the swiss chard.

Golden Paper Wasp

Hi Daniel,
Thanks Daniel.  I was pretty sure it was in the genus Polistes, but wasn’t readily able to find it.  We’re off to the South Coast Botanic Gardens today with picnic and cameras in hand.  Hopefully I will come back with good stuff.
Anna

You have taken such wonderful insect images in your own yard, so we hope you are not disappointed by the botanical gardens.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

paper wasps and alien fungal spaceship?
Location: Ocean Beach, CA
July 27, 2011 6:18 pm
JULY 27, 2011
This is the 2nd year our yard is well-populated by old-bamboo-fiber-stripping lawn-level cruising maybe paper-wasps of some sort judging by looks and behavior.
Visually back-tracking them to their apparent home in a 30+ ft high mature date palm a half block away we discovered a very disconcerting structure.
We don’t know if the structure is related to the wasps or not because we can’t get up there (and frankly don’t want to without hazmat gear), but – well, you can see in the images that it’s highly coincidental.
So, omniscient entomologistas: Paper Wasps? European neo-bauhaus nest? Alien fungal growth?
ps: the city vector crew were nonplussed and apathetic, equally.
Signature: mrobertson

European Paper Wasp

Dear mrobertson,
First, though we are flattered, we make far too many identification mistakes to ever accept the superlative modifier “omniscient”.  Your wasp is in fact a European Paper Wasp,
Polistes dominula, and it matches this image on BugGuide, but as you can see from this photo on BugGuide, the nest of a paper wasp is nothing like the “thing” in the date palm, so we will address that in a different postingBugGuide notes that the European Paper Wasp is:  “An introduced species from Eurasia, often mistaken for a yellow jacket. First reported in North America by G.C. Eickwort in 1978 near Boston, Massachusetts.  There are reports of it replacing native species of wasps in some areas.”  While we acknowledge that introduced species can be beneficial with regards to insect control, when they displace native species, that seriously compromises species diversity in the local ecosystem.  For that reason, we feel we need to tag these European Paper Wasps as Invasive Exotics.

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Standoff on the Kitchen Sink
Location:Tennessee
March 2, 2011
Hi Daniel and Lisa,
Hope this finds you both well.
This afternoon there was a little drama in my kitchen…Lady Bird Beetle is still there, the Paper Wasp has left the building (well…the area).
My question is, was it the pungent odor of the “Ladybug,” or just no real interest on the part of the wasp that caused an end to the standoff?  They danced around and around for nearly two hours without moving more than an inch in any direction.
Spring is springing up here in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.  YES!!!  Even the moths have begun their nightly flights.
More later, to be sure,
R.G. Marion

Lady Beetle and Paper Wasp

Hi R.G.,
It is nice to hear from you again.  While this meeting may appear confrontational, we suspect it is just a matter of a chance meeting.  Paper Wasps are nectar feeders that feed their larvae chewed and regurgitated insects, but the usual prey includes soft bodied insects like Caterpillars.

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Red round insects

Red Light Bulbs and a Paper Wasp Wing

Subject: Red round insects
Location: Austin, Texas
February 6, 2011 9:43 pm
Hi bugman, this is the second time I have seen these tiny, tiny red bugs. They look like small red light bulbs?
Any thoughts, I have looked on-line and still cannot seem to find a match.
Hope you can help.
ESP.
Signature: East Side Patch

Heteropteran Nymphs Scavenging a Paper Wasp Carcass

Dear East Side Patch,
We found a very similar looking Heteropteran Nymph on BugGuide that is identified as a
Largus species or Bordered Plant Bug.  We located another photo on BugGuide of an later instar nymph of Largus californicus, which should be called the California Bordered Bug (though it is also reported from Texas on BugGuide). Many phytophagous Heteropterans or True Bugs scavenge dead insects in their immature stages.  The biggest difference we notice between your Heteropteran Nymphs and the Largus nymphs on BugGuide is that your species has longer, striped antennae.

Thank you so much for these!
This one has had me puzzled for quite some time!
Philip.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination