Paper Wasp (Polistes exclamans)
Tucson, AZ, Cano Powershot SX40 HS, September 2013
Paper wasps are also called umbrella wasps for the shape of their uncovered combs frequently suspended beneath the eaves of houses. Mostly placid, they are efficient hunters of caterpillars. A new colony is established in the Spring often my more than one female. Further interactions yield to one “Queen” as subordinates suppress their ovarian potential. Nests mature at under 200 individuals.
Polistes exclamans is mainly southern in distribution reaching as far north as Nebraska and New Jersey.