Polistes exclamansSubject: What kind of wasp is this?
Location: Southern California
March 19, 2017 11:09 pm
Dear bugman,
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?
Thank you.
Signature: Daniel

Paper Wasp

Dear Daniel,
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.”

Paper Wasp

Location: Whittier, California

One Response to Paper Wasp: Polistes exclamans

  1. Pej says:

    I live in SoCal and noticed half a dozen of them just sitting next to each other on the wooden garage door frame while one of them was building a nest. Wondered why the others weren’t building and just sitting there. Now thanks to your post I know they were eating my garage door frame and I feel much better for killing them with a white wasp killer spray they recommended me at Walmart 🙂 Took a picture that I can email you if you like.

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