Subject: Red wasp identification
Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
March 7, 2015 7:57 am
This red wasp was photographed in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico in late February. It was in the grass.
Can you help identify it?
Signature: Wasp interest

Probably Paper Wasp

Probably Paper Wasp

We believe this is a Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes, and we have received numerous reports that Red Paper Wasps from Texas are aggressive and have a very painful sting.

Update:  February 26, 2019
Update to a 2015 article /sighting.  It’s now 2019 and once AGAIN February. Red Paper wasps are popping out. Definitely attracted to water. Haven’t tried the sting. I will try and contribute next month.
John Reinhardt


Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

4 Responses to Paper Wasp from Mexico

  1. Jon says:

    Though this comes a fair deal late, the identity of this wasp is Polistes major castaneicolor. This species can be distinguished from the red wasps of the eastern US by the orange antennal tips (not found in either P. carolina or P. rubiginosus). They are not aggressive but will defend their nest if it’s threatened.

  2. Francisco Montes says:

    When i went to mexico, there was so many of these in the air that you literraly would walk into them mid flight and they’d just bounce off of you.

  3. Charlie says:

    Numerous reports from Texas that red wasps are aggressive and hurt severely? When I was 9 I took a red sting and screamed seven hours. Once I was mowing the yard, a red was buzzing over the grass, I thought I could run it off by charging at it with the loud mower. This thing had the intelligence to ignore the machine, and it flew diagonally up and over the mower and straight towards my face. I was across the street in several seconds. I abandoned the field to the red wasp. Much is heard of the Warrior wasp from central America, I doubt it hurts more than this variety. However a similar type but larger, 34 to 38MM long, exists in Hong Kong area, it’s red and called Asian Death Wasp. I read reports about Texas reds being “a flaming torch of agony” and electrician in Dallas insisting a red sting hurts worse than a 460 volt shock. They absolutely are extremely aggressive, but won’t chase you remotely as far as killer bees. One on one a killer bee sting is like mother’s milk of human kindness next to a red sting. I had an uncle who took down a red nest in east Texas. It had 438 cells. That is as dangerous as anything gets, if you are too close.

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