The European Paper Wasp


The European Paper Wasp is one of the most common and well-known species of social wasp in the genus Polistes.

Its diet is more diverse than any other Polistes species.

The Paper Wasp has a superior survival ability compared to other wasps during a shortage of resources.

The dominant females are prime egg layers while the subordinate females or workers primarily forage and do not lay eggs.

This hierarchy is not permanent as when the queen is removed from the nest the second most dominant female takes over the role of the previous queen.

European Paper Wasp

European Paper Wasp

Dominance in females is determined by the severity of scatteredness in the colouration of the Clypeus.

Where the dominance in males is shown by the different spots in their abdomen.

The European paper wasp was originally described in 1791 by Johann Ludwig Christ as Vespa dominula.

The specific name is a noun meaning “little mistress”.

These wasps have a lek-based mating system. Unlike most social insects, 35% of Polistes Carolina in a colony are unrelated.

It is considered an invasive species in Canada and the United States.


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