Common paper wasp

Polistes humilis

The common paper wasp, Polistes humilis, is a species of Vespidae that occurs throughout Australia.
A new queendom begins The days have warmed and insect activity is on the increase. Yesterday, I found and enjoyed watching a beautiful paper wasp beginning her nest on the underside of a yucca leaf. The central petiole which the nest will be suspended from can be seen near her mouth. This consists of chewed plant material such as wood, mixed with her saliva. 
This female will become the queen if the colony can be established. 
Polistes genus, possibly humilis or variabilis sp. 
20 mm body length

 Australia,Common paper wasp,Fauna,Geotagged,Hymenoptera,Macro,Paper Wasp,Polistes,Polistes humilis,Vespidae,Wasp,insect,invertebrate,new south wales,spring

Appearance

Adults are about 10-15mm long with a tanish-red coloration with bands of yellow on the face. As with other Polistes they have long and slender wings.
Common paper wasp - Polistes humilis Using a floating eucalyptus leaf to get near the water for a drink. Australia,Common paper wasp,Geotagged,Polistes humilis,Spring

Reproduction

They build their nest out of grey wood fiber material, which is a mixture of their own saliva and wood. A colony can have up to 20 individuals, eggs are laid in separate cells keeping the larvae to themselves. Adults will tend to the larvae and feed them chewed-up insects.
Common paper wasp - Polistes humilis Observed common paper wasps landing on the water surface of a dam to get a drink on a hot day. At first it looked like it landed in the water by accident but to many wasp did the same and after about 30 seconds they all flew away again. Australia,Common paper wasp,Geotagged,Polistes humilis,Spring

Cultural

As with most Polistes they can be seen as a pest in highly trafficked areas, such as doorways and other areas around the home. Beyond a sometimes painful sting there is no danger from a sting, unless one is known to be allergic there is no real need to worry. The best way to avoid a sting is to simply stay away from a nest if possible, don't antagonize a nest if there is no need. If you must spray them spray from the side and at night when they are sleeping. This species is a native Australian wasp and is actually beneficial. It is known to eat non-native introduced species, thus reducing invasive species.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderHymenoptera
FamilyVespidae
GenusPolistes
SpeciesPolistes humilis
Photographed in
Australia
Mexico