Explanation of Names
Polistes dominula (Christ 1791)
dominula = 'lady, mistress'
mostly orange antennae diagnostic
throughout Eurasia (native range); across US and Canada as of 2016
Larvae are fed chewed-up pieces of caterpillars and other insects caught by adults. The adults, like other paper wasps, feed on nectar from flowers and other sugary liquids.
Only females are able to overwinter. Some "workers" of previous season are able to survive and act as auxiliary females for the foundresses, provided the quiescent phase has been short enough. (Comment by Richard Vernier)
often mistaken for a yellow jacket
First reported in North America in 1978 near Boston, MA
Replacing native wasps in some areas (Hammon 2014