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W*H*Y Wednesday: The Red Wasp, Part 1

Carolina_red wasp Today's featured species is the Red Wasp, Polistes carolina. This is one of two red wasps caught in the new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.

Red Wasps are named for their overall rusty red coloration. They are rather large, at around 1 inch in length.

P. carolina Red Wasps are found primarily in the Southeastern part of the United States, as highlighted on this map illustration:


Habits: Red Wasp adult workers feed on sugary nectar and collect live prey to feed nest larvae. Caterpillars appear to be a preferred food source. Red Wasps have also been known to attack cicadas.

Red Wasp Nests: Red Wasp species are known to have some of the largest nests among Paper Wasps. Queens begin forming nests from wood and live plant fibers in the spring. Like other Paper Wasp species, Red Wasps create nests resembling an upside-down umbrella and exposed octagonal cells.

The P. carolina Red Wasp usually chooses exposed habitats for nesting, especially under roof eaves and in old tires.

Nature toward humans: Like many Paper Wasp species, Red Wasps are typically docile, but will become aggressive when provoked or when the nest is disturbed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Red Wasp stings feel more painful than stings from other Paper Wasp species.

WHYTR_200dpi Good news for those who have this species in their backyard: the new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets will catch Red Wasps!

October 29, 2008 in Entomology, Science, Wasps, WHY Trap | Permalink


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Posted by: noah | Mar 20, 2011 12:21:57 PM

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