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European Paper Wasp - Polistes dominula

European Paper Wasp - Polistes dominula
Puyallup, Pierce County, Washington, USA
April 23, 2008
A perfect arrow on the abdomen of this paper wasp. I think it's saying "Stinger This Way".

Is there any difference between these (with arrow mark) and the ones with the larger black mark like this one

Images of this individual: tag all
European Paper Wasp - Polistes dominula European Paper Wasp - Polistes dominula European Paper Wasp Face - Polistes dominula

A perfect arrow on T1, yes...
And all the more remarkable that on the other hand, the clypeus (the sclerite on lower part of face, above the mandibles) has a complete black stripe.
There is no (e.g. subspecific) systematically recognized difference between this kind of pattern and the darker ones lacking the "arrow". In fact, yellow color on T1 has two distinct parts: the "normal" apical stripe and two spots "inside" the black basis, homologous tho those on T2.
And these two spots can be so small they are barely visible, sometimes lacking altogether. By contrast, they leave only a central black "arrow" when they are well developped, merging with the apical stripe.

Thanks Richard,
that's interesting info. I appreciate it.

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