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common paperwasp

Scientific Name
Polistes humilis
Scientific Author
(Fabricius)
Taxonomy
(Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae: Polistini)
Status
Native Australian Beneficial Species
Reliability
High
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Diagnostic Notes

Polistes can be distinguished from Ropalidia by a number of characters, probably the easiest is in Ropalidia the 2nd gastral segment is solidly fused and does not overlap the 3rd gastral segment - this gives the petiole a "knob" like appearance; in Polistes the 2nd gastral segment clearly overlaps the 3rd segment and ther is no "knob" like appearance to the gaster.

Paper wasps body length 10-15 mm, body tan in colour with darker bands and some yellow on face ,body is slender, with narrow waist, the abdomen has some yellow/orange bands, but is mainly black.

There are two subspecies that can be distinguised as follows:

P. humilis humilis - Female wing length 10-15mm; propodeum usually black, rarely with yellow stripes; gaster unbanded, rarely with more than 1 yellow band (Occurs in S. Qld rare; NSW, Vic, SA, New Zealand)

P. humilis synoecus - Female wing length 9.5-13.5mm; propodeum usually with longitudinal yellow stripes; gaster with 2 or 3 yellow bands (Occurs in Northern NSW, Qld, NT, WA)

 

 


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