Polistes dominula

Common Names: European paper wasp
Category: Insects
Sub-category: Wasps

It is considered an invasive species in Canada and the United States. This species was introduced into the United States in 1968 in the New Jersey Pine Barrens and spread throughout most of the country during the 1980s and 90s, in some cases partially replacing native species. Another introduction was discovered in the late 1970s in Cambridge, Newton and Somerville, Massachusetts.

Little variation occurs among individuals of P. dominula; the wing lengths of males range from 9.5 to 13.0 mm, while those of females range from 8.5 to 12.0 mm. Its body is colored entirely yellow and black. The female mandible is black and sometimes has a yellow spot. Females have a black subantennal mark that rarely has a pair of small, yellow spots. The female vertex sometimes has a pair of small, yellow spots behind the hind ocelli. Females have yellow, comma-shaped scutal spots.

P. dominula generally lives in temperate, terrestrial habitats such as chaparral, forest, and grassland biomes. They also have the propensity to colonize nearby human civilizations because man-made structures can act as great shelters and also are located close to the resources such as food.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Like other wasps, they have a painful and venomous sting.