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Black Yellow Large Paper Wasp - Polistes tepidus

FAMILY VESPIDAE

This page contains pictures and information about Black Yellow Large Paper Wasps that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Body length 25mm
 
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We found this large wasp hunting on grass alone. This is one of the largest wasp species in Vespidae family. We took above pictures in early winter 2002 in Wishart bushland. The wasps are dull black in colour with orange yellow antennae and abdomen.
 
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Dec 2008, we found this wasp collecting water on a temporary water hole in Karawatha Forest.
 
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Interestingly, like some other wasps and bees, we found that the Black and Yellow Potter Wasp also rests with holding stem by jaws.
 
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We did not find out how their nest look like yet. From reference this paper wasp species build single horizontal comb of hexagonal paper cells nest attached by a short stalk. The nest is usually a few meter high above ground hanging from small branch of large tree. 
 
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Workers forage food, i.e., caterpillars and some other soft body insects to feed the larvae in the nest. Adult wasps feed on nectar from flowers. 
 
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Reference:
1. Paperwasp Polistes tepidus (Fabricius) - Pests and Diseases Image Library, PaDIL.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p296, plate21.15.
3. OBSERVATIONS ON A DECLINING NEST OF POLISTES TEPIDUS (F.) (HYMENOPTERA: VESPIDAE) - A. Hook, 1981, Australian Journal of Entomology.
4. paper wasp, Polistes tepidus (Fabricius) - Insect images, 2010.
5. The Australian social wasps (Hymenoptera : Vespidae) - Richards, OW (1978),  Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 26 , 1132.  

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Last updated: July 29, 2012.