European Paper Wasp
Common Name:European Paper Wasp
Botanical name:Polistes dominula
Legal Status:NEMBA Category 1b
Medium sized wasp (20-30mm) with yellow and black markings on abdomen and orange antennae. The nests are always above ground and can easily distinguished from those of Vespula germanica in that the nest cells are visible on the underside of nests. Where present, these wasps are common on lawns where they forage for caterpillars and other prey. Nests can be sprayed with supermarket insecticide approved for flying insects. Fog nests and wasps early in the morning or in the evening.
Where does this species come from?
European paper wasps are native to the Palearctic Region around the Mediterranean, northern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and eastern China.
Why is it a problem?
The invasive Polistes dominula competes directly with our native paper wasp species (e.g. Polistes marginalis) for food and nesting sites to the extent of reducing the native populations and thereby disrupting natural processes.
Means of reproduction?
Within colonies of European paper wasps, one queen generally mates with multiple males. Females lay eggs within cells of the nest that hatch, pupate, and develop into adults in 3 to 4 weeks after they are laid. The eggs hatch into larvae in 3 to 5 days, and the queen wasp feeds them masticated caterpillars.