Entomology (Study of Bugs)/European Poliste?


A European poliste wasp?
A European poliste was  
In 2012 and 2013, the paper wasps that  for the previous 15 years built had nests under the eaves of my house have more or less stopped doing so. Last year the nests that had been well begun were attacked, large sections ripped out, and many of the animals vanished immediately, while the remainder seemed confused, clung to the damaged nest even during the day, and soon disappeared. I believe they were eaten, but did not see this happen. This year, only one tiny nest of about six cells was attached under the porch roof. No larvae are present, the three wasps that had been tending the nest have been reduced to one, which does not go out, just clings to the nest. . At the same time, a large number of what appear to be Poliste spp. have been hanging around my sunflowers. They have orange antennae, making me think they are European polistes. I have attached a photo; I'm no photographer so I hope it's good enough. These wasps are not nesting on my house; I don't know where they nest, but there're plenty of them. Would their presence account for the disappearance of the previously well-established wasps?  This location is on sagebrush steppe at 6500 feet; no pesticides are used.

Hi Laura
The photo did not come through. Try sending it to my email address

Nobody knows everything Laura. Identifying a was wasp to the species is complicated. You have to study wing veins and tarsi as well as antenna. To expect somebody to key a wasp to the species from a small photo is ridiculous. My answer was quite clear and to rate me a 3 because I admitted that I could not positively identify this species and that I could not explain the disappearance of the other wasps is unfair.
 This is a free service. The next time your want an identification take a specimen to an expert and pay for it.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.