Wasp Heaven Today
Location: Hawthorne, CA
July 31, 2011 9:08 pm
Today we had three ”new” wasps to the yarden for this year. Two I was able to identify when they visited last year, the Great Golden Digger (my favorite) and one other. I haven’t been able to identify the one in the images attached, though. Can you help? It’s quite good sized, but not as large as the Golden Digger.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes, and though there is some question as to whether it is a species or a subspecies, we believe this is a Golden Paper Wasp, Polistes aurifer, which you may verify by comparing your individual to this photo on BugGuide. A small colony builds a suspended nest and workers tend to the larvae, which are fed skinned and pre-chewed caterpillars. The Golden Paper Wasp in your photo is probably searching for Caterpillars on the swiss chard.
Thanks Daniel. I was pretty sure it was in the genus Polistes, but wasn’t readily able to find it. We’re off to the South Coast Botanic Gardens today with picnic and cameras in hand. Hopefully I will come back with good stuff.
You have taken such wonderful insect images in your own yard, so we hope you are not disappointed by the botanical gardens.