European paper wasp (Polistes dominula)

Specimen of paper wasp (Polistes)

Paper wasp nest (Polistes dominula)

Roof tiles are the ideal habitat for the paper wasp (Polistes dominula)

  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Vespoidea
  • Family: Vespidae
  • Specie: 10 in Europe
  • Common name: paper wasp

Morphology: the Polistes wasp has a glabrous body, 10 mm to 18 mm in length. Abdomen tapered front and rear.

Coloration: yellow and black.

Habitat: in all open and hot places even in urban, plain and mountain areas up to 2,000 meters high.

Flight season: from April to October.

Nest: located on buildings and human artifacts in sheltered environments but exposed to the sun, under the tiles or plastic tarpaulins, inside the iron pipes. Cells are of hexagonal shape arranged on a single honeycomb not covered by an envelope.

Dimensions of colonies: up to 100 adult individuals in August.

Behaviour: it is a social species, females, the only ones with sting, are rather aggressive only in the vicinity of the nest, they attack and sting animals and objects that come within a meter of the colony.