Papernest Wasps

Papernest Wasps

Scientific Name: Polistes gallicus

How to identify a papernest wasp

Paper wasps have a small head, with medium sized eyes and medium length antennae. The body is slender, with a very narrow waist. There are two pairs of brown-tinted wings, with the first pair larger. The abdomen has some yellow/orange bands, but is mainly black. Recently, the introduced Asian Paper Wasp (Polistes chinensis) has been reported from several inner city suburbs of Sydney. This closely related species is larger than the native Polistes and tends to have more distinctive yellow and brown bands.

Where are papernest wasps commonly found?

Paper wasps live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.  

Why are papernest wasps considered a pest?

Paper wasps can deliver painful stings, but are not as aggressive as European Wasps. They normally only attack humans if their nest is disturbed. If stings are multiple, a more severe systemic reaction may occur.

What is the biology and lifecycle of a papernest wasp?

Paper wasps form small colonies, and make paper nests under tree branches and the eaves of houses. The nests are shaped like inverted cones, and consist of a cluster of hexagonal cells made from wood fibre mixed with saliva. The wasp larvae are maggot-like and develop inside the papery cells of the nest.


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