What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Wasp in North Los Angeles.
Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM
Dear What’sthatbug,
I’ve been a big fan of your site for ages.
I found this little wasp in Tujunga, far northern Los Angeles, CA. during mid/late summer.
It’s a small / med sized wasp. When I found it it was sitting on a twig, munching on the twig, or maybe eating something off of it. But I couldn’t see that he was actually eating the twig itself. These are quite common there but even after looking through all 15 wasp pages in your site and googleing a million things I could not find a name for this little guy/girl.
I hope you can Identify it, I’m pretty much obsessed with all living creatures and I’m dieing to know what kind of wasp this is so i can do some research on it. Thanks a bunch!! Love your site!!
Nitsan S.
Tujunga, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Golden Paper Wasp

Golden Paper Wasp

Dear Nitsan,
Despite going global with the world wide web, we still have a nostalgia for our humble local photocopied zine of origin, when most of our identifications were from the Los Angeles area. This is a Paper Wasp, Polistes aurifer according to BugGuide, or a subspecies, Polisted fuscatus aurifer according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin. Wasps from this family chew bark and wood pulp into a papery substance for the production of the nest.

Update:
Fri, 20 Feb 2009 12:26:19 -0800 (PST)
Hi, Daniel:
Just an added note to the “golden paper wasp” post….The specimen is a male.  I can tell by the ‘square,’ yellow face (females have triangular, darker faces) and the long antennae, curled at the tip (females have shorter, uncurled antennae).
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *