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W*H*Y Wednesday: We catch another wasp!

Just when we thought we knew the 20 species caught in the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets, we learned this week that we catch another species of Paper Wasp -- bringing the total wasp species to 7 and the entire species count to 21!

Thanks to some data gained in testing in the southern U.S., we've determined that our trap catches Polistes exclamans, also known as the Common Paper Wasp.

Exclamans_Common_Paper_Wasp This species is 5/8 inches long and displays extensive red coloration on the head, thorax and abdomen. The abdomen has bands of red, black and yellow and one large red and black band toward the top. Queens and female workers have a predominantly red thorax, while males are mostly black. Antenna will be red with a prominent black midsection.

Common Paper Wasps hunt caterpillars to feed nest larvae and feed on sugars and flower nectar.  Workers will rest on the nest at night and during periods of cooler weather.

Common Paper Wasps are not typically aggressive, but will sting if provoked or if they feel their nest is threatened.  Males also exhibit territorial behavior, which is unusual for Paper Wasp species.

Exclamans_Common_Paper_Wasp_Nest The Common Paper Wasp is found in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida; as far north as New Jersey, Indiana and Illinois; and west to Nebraska and Colorado. It is considered an introduced (non-native) species in southern California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Hawaii.

Common Paper Wasp nests resemble the upside-down umbrella shape and open-honeycomb design of other paper wasp species, and are usually found in sheltered locations near human activity-- most  commonly in roof eaves and trees.

WHYTR_200dpi Good news if you have this species in your back yard: The W*H*Y Trap from RESCUE! will catch the Common Paper Wasp!

March 4, 2009 in Entomology, Science, Wasps, WHY Trap | Permalink


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My favorite paper wasp is the Polistes annularis. which is a larger paper wasp over an inch long and is red and black, and here is what it looks like.

Posted by: Bill D. | Aug 11, 2009 8:49:46 AM

I have the red wasp you are refering to and we bought the WHY Trap.
It has been 4 days now and nothing in the trap.
I changed locations and still nothing.
Any suggestions?

Thank you,
Dr. Cook

Posted by: Dr. Cook | Mar 26, 2011 12:52:27 PM

Dr. Cook: What have your daytime and nighttime temperatures been like? Have you seen any red wasps flying around? Keep moving the trap to different locations; sometimes that does the trick. You can also call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-666-6766 and we can troubleshoot some more.

Posted by: Stephanie | Apr 1, 2011 2:02:44 PM

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