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 Western paper wasp (Mischocyttarus flavitarsis)




Western paper wasp | Mischocyttarus flavitarsis photo
head of a Paper Wasp (Mischocyttarus Flavitarsis)

Photograph by Sanjay Acharya. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Western paper wasp | Mischocyttarus flavitarsis photo
Western Paper Wasp (Mischocyttarus flavitarsis) building a nest, at Sunnyvale, California, USA

Photograph by Sanjay Acharya. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

WESTERN PAPER WASP FACTS

Description
The Western paper wasp is a black and yellow wasp with black head, black thorax with narrow bands and yellowish abdomen with dark bands. The legs are yellow and antenna are brownish. It builds an uncovered nest with single comb. The nest may be build in tree or shrub foliage or in a protected position such as under eaves. Wasps in the genus Mischocyttarus are sometimes mistaken for a species of Polistes paper wasps, but the Mischocyttarus have a longer narrow stalk between the lower abdomen and the rest of the body. Their nest is usually smaller than Polistes nests. They are not aggressive wasps.

Other Names
Yellow-legged Paper Wasp

Environment
woodland, parkland

Food
the wasps prey on caterpillars which they bring to the nest to feed the larvae. Adults feed on nectar and honeydew from aphids

Breeding
The nest is started by a solitary queen wasp. The small nest is an uncovered rounded shape with a single comb of cells. The female lays an egg in each cell of the nest. The eggs eventually hatch into larvae which are fed on chewed insect food by the adults, until they are ready to pupate.

Range
The Western paper wasp is found in the western United States from Montana to west Texas and west to the Pacific from British Columbia in Canada to California. It is common in California. This wasp is also found in Mexico,

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Vespidae
Genus:Mischocyttarus
Species:flavitarsis
Common Name:Western paper wasp