Wildlife North America . com
North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Northern paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus)




Northern paper wasp | Polistes fuscatus photo
Polistes fuscatus sterile female worker

Photograph by Bruce J. Marlin. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

NORTHERN PAPER WASP FACTS

Description
The Northern paper slender wasp with narrow waist and is mainly black or dark brown with some yellowish or brown bands on the abdomen. The long legs are reddish brown, and hang downwards when the insect is in flight. The nest is an umbrella shape hanging from a stalk, and is usually built in a protected area above ground level such as house eaves. These wasps are not aggressive but will sting if the nest is disturbed. The colony dies off at the end of the year, with only the queen wasps surviving through the winter by hibernating.

Other Names
Golden paper wasp

Size
about 20mm

Environment
found in woodland, grassland, farmland, and also around building structures such as eaves and roofs.

Food
adult wasps feed on nectar and sugary foods, they prey on insects, mostly caterpillars, which they feed to their larvae

Breeding
the queen wasp builds a nest from plant and wood fibre in the spring. The nest is a single comb with up to two hundred hexagonal paper cells. The eggs hatch into grub like larvae which are fed on insect food by the adults. The larvae pupate in the cell and emerge as adults.

Range
Polistes fuscatus is found in Canada in temperate areas from British Columbia east to Quebec, and in the United States from Texas to Florida and north to the Canada border (from North Dakota to Maine).

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Vespidae
Genus:Polistes
Species:fuscatus
Common Name:Northern paper wasp


Relatives in same Genus
  Red Paper Wasp (P. annularis)
  Paper wasp (P. apachus)
  Golden paper wasp (P. aurifer)
  Red Wasp (P. carolina)
  European Paper Wasp (P. dominula)
  Common paper wasp (P. exclamans)
  Paper wasp (P. metricus)
  Red-brown paper wasp (P. olivaceus)