mystery wasp? on milkweed
Hi there:
I photographed this insect nectaring on swamp milkweed alongside ants. I think it might be a wasp, but not sure. It was shot in central Ontario, Canada, where I do a lot of insect photography. In fact I have an Insect Photo Gallery on my website — but I can’t seem to find an i.d. for this beauty! Can you help? Many thanks,
Janet Davis, Toronto

Hi Janet,
We thought this might be a species of Yellowjacket, but Eric Eaton set us straight. Here is Eric’s response: “The male yellowjacket is actually a Worker Paper Wasp, genus Polistes, but I don’t recognize the species. Individual specimens are quite variable, and there is some overlap in that different species often share very similar color patterns. Keep up the great work. You have my unending empathy for getting innundated!”

Location: Canada

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