Currently viewing the category: "Paper Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: flies, stings and lives in groups in Gambia
Location: Gambia
December 11, 2012 2:26 pm
Hi, I took this pic in an outside storeroom, in an area called Sanchaba, near Serekunda, Gambia West Africa today, 12/12/12. It flies, stings very bad and lives in a kind on honeycomb style nest in a dark and would be damp place.
Signature: ginger badjie

Paper Wasps

Hi Ginger,
Your photo lacks clarity, but these appear to be Paper Wasps.  Paper Wasps are generally not aggressive, but like other social wasps, they will defend their nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ugly pictures of a pretty wasp
Location: Catoctin Mountains, Maryland
December 12, 2012 1:43 pm
I accidentally dumped some water on this wasp in the kitchen sink. I scooped it out and let it dry off for a while before it could fly again and I put it outside. It stung me once on the wrist, which itches and doesn’t really hurt. I didn’t even notice until a few minutes afterward. What kind of wasp is this? Does it have a nest to go to? It’s very sleek and pretty, with kind of an amber body and big eyes with legs that are darker toward the body than they are on the end.
Signature: Jenny

Paper Wasp, we believe

Hi Jenny,
The general size and shape of this wasp looks like that of a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, but we cannot be certain since your photo lacks clarity.  In general coloration, it does resemble this photo of Polistes fuscatus from BugGuide.  Paper Wasps are social wasps that build a nest with a papery texture from chewed wood.  In colder climates, the workers die of in the winter and only the new queens hibernate.  The nest is abandoned with the onset of cold weather and in the spring, the new queen begins a new nest and a new colony. Because of you kind deed, we are tagging your post with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Aww, yay!  Thank you.  Sorry for the blurry photograph!  It was a time-sensitive moment that required me to settle with my low-quality cell phone for a picture.  I love the work you guys do.  Your website has been my homepage for about 3 years and it remains one of my favorite places on the web.

Hi again Jenny,
We are happy to hear our website gives you such pleasure.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp
Location: La Marque, Tx
November 17, 2012 2:47 pm
What kind of wasp is this?
Signature: Thank You, Tx Finest

Paper Wasp

Dear Tx Finest,
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes.  We believe it is Polistes bellicosus based on the photos posted to BugGuide and this description:  “It has completely red hind femora.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: pearly abdomen
Location: trinidad and tobago
August 20, 2012 11:16 am
this guy is just hanging out on the wall in my staircase…what is it?
Signature: danielle

Unknown Wasp

Hi Danielle,
We have been away from the office for three days and email requests have really piled up.  Identifying your wasp might take considerable research and we will have to return to that task.  The photo and creature are amazing looking and we want to post it as unidentified for now.  Hopefully one of our readers, who does not have several hundred emails to answer and make posts of the most interesting of them, can assist with the identification.

Karl identifies Nocturnal Paper Wasp
Hi Daniel and Danielle:
It looks like a Nocturnal Paper Wasp (Vespidae: Polistinae), probably in the genus Apoica.  As far as I can tell there are three species of Apoica in T&T (A. pallens, A. gelida and A. pallida). I am not sure which one this might be but it looks very similar to A. pallens, a species that occurs throughout much of Central and South America, and the Caribbean region.  Regards.  Karl

Thanks Karl,
As always, you are awesome and your contributions are greatly appreciated.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: HUGE Wasp??
Location: Illinois
July 17, 2012 8:31 am
this HUGE wasp-like insect has been hanging around our garage and garden. Is it harmful to humans ,as in, will it sting us? I am allergic to stings and I’m a little nervous to go into the garden! It is eating other insects as this picture shows, and this morning when I went to the garden, it flew up from the garden with another bug in it’s legs. We live in Illinois and today is July 17, 2012.
Signature: Mary G.

Hanging Thief eats Paper Wasp

Hi Mary,
The predator in your photo is living up to its common name Hanging Thief.  Hanging Thieves are a family of Robber Flies that often hand from a single leg while feeding.  The only wasp in your photo it the Paper Wasp that is being eaten by the Hanging Thief.  Hanging Thieves often prey upon wasps and bees.  We do not know of anyone being bitten by a Hanging Thief, but we imagine they are capable of biting if they are carelessly handled. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Paper Wasp with Caterpillar
Location: Northeast Florida
June 29, 2012 8:40 pm
I was outside by my tomato plants when I noticed a Paper Wasp flying around one of the plants, landing for a minute or two and then flying around again. It was carrying a very small green caterpillar that looked like a young Hornworm. The wasp would bite and chew on the caterpillar, then fly around with it again. I looked up Paper Wasps and read that they kill caterpillars and take the remains back to their nests. I’m sending a few pictures I took.
Signature: Karen in FL

Paper Wasp Preys Upon Caterpillar

Hi Karen,
We apologize for the delay in getting back to you.  We planned to post your photo days ago but it got lost in the shuffle.  We believe your Paper Wasp might be
Polistes exclamans which is described on BugGuide as having:  “Dark antennae with orange tips” and it is also referred to as the Common Paper Wasp or Guinea Wasp.  We would not discount that it might be another species as Paper Wasps are sometimes difficult to identify to the species level.  It is important to note that Paper Wasps generally bring prey like Caterpillars back to the nest to feed larvae.

That’s okay about the delay, I understand how busy you are. I looked at Polistes exclamans on BugGuide and it definitely looks like my wasp. I was fascinated to see it carrying the little caterpillar around, and I wondered how I could have missed seeing these wasps carrying off caterpillars before!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination