What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp Nest.
Location: Nsw, Australia, Near the coast.
December 2, 2011 3:02 am
Hi. I thought you might like some pictures of what we’ve always called a paper wasp nest, although I don’t know if thats what they actually are. I was very frightened that they would fly at me and start stinging me every time the flash whent off. I hope you like the pictures.
Signature: Emma

Paper Wasps and Nest

Hi Emma,
Thank you for braving danger to take photographs of these Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes working on constructing their nest.  Paper Wasps are not normally aggressive, however, they will defend the nest.  We believe, based on photos posted to the Brisbane Insect website, that your wasps might be the Common Paper Wasp or Australian Paper Wasp, Polistes humilis.  There is a page dedicated to the species on the Brisbane Insect website.

Paper Wasps and Nest

Hi! I think the reason they didn’t attack me is because it was a rainy day. They seemed to be sleeping, they weren’t moving much. Thanks for letting me know what they are! I’ve found three nests around the farm already, without even looking very hard.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Australia

2 Responses to Paper Wasps and Nest in Australia

  1. Brent B says:

    Greetings. We live in the heart of Oklahoma and have noticed a difference in the coloring of our red wasps this year. They seem to have changed colors and resemble those from Australia. Is it possible they have migrated from Australia or is this a winter time nature molting thing? Normally the wasp have a dark red coloring on their body and only their wings are black. Lately we’ve notice them having a yellow face, dark black shoulders, wings and legs. The normal red color body is crossed with an orange tint and almost a yellow tint as well. Again a dark red color seems to be the normal, not yellowish orange.
    Please advise as we are very curious and have had an overabundance of red wasp nesting’s this year, starting around mid-summer. Are these a new species or that we’ve never noticed this change before?

    • bugman says:

      Red Wasps are Paper Wasps in the genus Polistes, and we are quite confident that there was no migration across the ocean from Australia, though introduction of species assisted by humans, either knowingly or accidentally, is always a possibility if visitors from Australia transported a fertile queen. BugGuide lists 19 species of Paper Wasps in North America and you may be observing a different species than you normally see. We would not discount the possibility of a hybridization between species from the same genus. All this is pure speculation without an image.

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