Subject: Orange wasp with blue wings
Location: Warsaw, MO
June 24, 2012 11:12 pm
I’ve searched all over and cannot match this wasp to anything I find. It has a distinguishing marking on its back.
This is a species of Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes which BugGuide describes as: “Semi-social wasps. Unlike social (eusocial) wasps, where workers are sterile females, in Polistes all females are potential breeders.” We are uncertain of the exact species, but Polistes metricus has similar thoracic markings though the abdomen is darker. See BugGuide for photos of that species. Polistes carolina, the Red Wasp (also on BugGuide), has no markings on the thorax, but otherwise looks very similar to your wasps. Perhaps your wasps are a hybrid, a color variation, or a different species altogether.