February 12, 2010
Well, encouraged by your kind words about my photos, I decided to take my current ‘project’ to the next stage: I’ve been photographing these wasps building their nest outside our house, behind a window, and today I thought of taking some outside photos of the progress. I removed the fly screen, stepped on the windowsill, and stretched my hand out with the camera to record detailed images of the geometric components of their nest. Surprise, surprise, the wasps didn’t like it. They suddenly turned on my camera, all of them in line, pointing and shaking their whiskers towards it, and before me realising what was happening, they made their move. I broke my camera when I dropped it, and I’m now tendering about three wasp bites on my swollen arm and fingers.
I think my camera memory card is still OK, so hopefully the nest photos are still there! In the meantime, can you identify my attackers from this earlier image:

Australian Paper Wasp

Hi Ridou,
We are so sorry to hear about your unfortunate encounter with these Paper Wasps in the genus Polistes.  We believe they may be the Australian Paper Wasp, Polistes humilis.  The Brisbane Insect Website has some amazing photographs of this species.  Paper Wasps are not normally aggressive, but they will attack and sting if the nest is threatened.

Hi Bugman,
In case you’re interested: here are two images that I managed to get from my broken camera’s memory card: they were taken at the time when I dropped my camera because of the attack by these paper wasps… The first image shows the structure of the nest they’re building, and the second shows them lining up to defend it.

Australian Paper Wasp Nest

Hi again Ridou,
Do you know if the second nest was from the previous year?

Australian Paper Wasp Nest

Yes, it was… Esa

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Location: Australia

One Response to Paper Wasp from Australia attacks Photographer

  1. Synesthesia says:

    Those things are like, “Get him, girls!” (or her)

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