Paper Wasp

Subject: wasp?
Location: Chandler AZ
June 7, 2016 5:52 pm
curious about the 3 dots on the head.
This is a great site and I want to thank you for all your effort.
Signature: Doc

Paper Wasp
Paper Wasp

Dear Doc,
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and we believe it most closely resembles Polistes aurifer which is pictured on BugGuide.  Though the article is talking about bees, The Honey Bee Guide has a good explanation of the three simple eyes at the top of many insects’ heads:  “The three other eyes are called simple eyes or ocelli. They are at the top of the bee’s head in a triangular pattern and are very small. These eyes don’t see images but can detect light, especially changes in light. The ocelli help bees escape danger because if something is swooping down to eat them, the shadow created by the predator alerts the bee that something is wrong and gives it time to fly away. The compound eyes together with the ocelli make it very hard to sneak up on a bee.”  Just FYI:  This will probably be our last response to an inquiry for the next week as we will be away from the office, returning on June 17.

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