Underside and inside

European paper wasp, Polistes diminula. Through a window. It was a cold morning, the first of the nascent fall, and this individual was hardly moving, waiting to warm up with the sun. This European import, introduced to the U.S. only in the late 1960s and now wide-spread, has markings similar to some of the yellow jacket waps, which are more aggressive. They may be mimicking the more dangerous animal to scare off potential predators. You can distinguish the mellower diminula (which can still sting) by its orange antenna; yellow jackets, in the genus Vespula, have black ones. Yes, I know, you’re probably rarely that close to note this difference…

Earlier, going into the shed, I found this diminula nest on the door (yellow jackets build concealed nests, usually underground):In the hexagonal cells, eggs:

2 Responses to “Underside and inside”

  1. 1 Mark Wilkinson September 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    We occasionally find large nests from this wasp in our loftspace. Amazing constructions. We also find lines on old fencing around the garden and on the sheds – the tell tale signs of material collection by this species? The chewing is audible too, if you are quiet enough.

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