Polistes exclamansSubject: What kind of wasp is this?
Location: Southern California
March 19, 2017 11:09 pm
I was recently in Whittier and noticed a wasp feeding off of some old wood bench. Interested, I decided to capture a video of the wasp and realize that it’s the exact kind of wasp I was stung by years ago as a child.
Every time I’ve searched for what kind of wasp this could be I come up with an overwhelming amount of varieties of wasps that leave me with no clear indication on this type of wasp.
I’ve never seen a different type of wasp in my life but just this one. I live in Southern California so it’s definitely a native wasp. Could you tell what kind it is?
This is a social Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes. Paper Wasps construct nests from chewed wood pulp, and it is safe to surmise that this individual is gathering pulp to add to a nest. Based on this and other BugGuide images, we feel confident that this is Polistes exclamans, a species described on BugGuide as having “Dark antennae with orange tips.”