What is this wasp
First, I apologize for the large file. I do not want to resize it as the wasps are small already. I could not (and did not want) to go closer. I could not find the exact match from whatsthatbug.com . I think they look like polistes paper wasp, but not very sure. Please help identify. The picture was taken in Bangkok, Thailand. The nest (or comb ?) is about 6 feet from the ground. Please also advise if they are dangerous. They look tame to me. Thanks

Hi Wit,
According to a website we located, this is a Banded Paper Wasp, Polistes sagittarius. The author of the website writes: “This species, in my experience, is rather defensive. It will tolerate people moving calmly around the nest, but any attempt to get close is met with suspicion and defensive behaviour from the workers. The workers attack if the nest is touched, and unlike many other species which wildly sting whatever they can latch on to, this species often aims straight for the head! However, like most Polistines, its nests do not pose a threat in most cases, unless built near very crowded areas.” The species is found in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere in Asia.

Update: (12/10/2007)
Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne,
Hope the end-of-the-semester finds you both well. These paper wasps in Thailand are guarding their grubs, as nearly all of the hymenoptera do. They’re eaten in various parts of the world; ant pupae are exported and are sold here in Providence, but not bee/wasp/hornet larvae or pupae. I haven’t tried any yet, but I’ll get my chance soon. I keep hearing they’re great, and you did get that really cool letter from Tla-i-ga recently about yellowjackets. Here’s an interesting picture [one of a series] of the same kind of thing in China: All the best,

Location: Thailand

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