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Male Polistes dominula - European Paper Wasp? - Polistes dorsalis - male

Male Polistes dominula - European Paper Wasp? - Polistes dorsalis - Male
Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA
August 24, 2007
Not the greatest of shots, and after recent discussions, I'm hesitant to post a picture simply for a data point. However, considering the range information on the Info page and links thereon, this might be the first record from TN, and thus interesting/useful to someone? I'm guessing P. dominula due to the extensive orange on the antennae, and a male, due to the yellow face and curly tips on the antennae. Is this correct?

Images of this individual: tag all
Male Polistes dominula - European Paper Wasp? - Polistes dorsalis - male Male Polistes dominula - European Paper Wasp? - Polistes dorsalis - male


Polistes dorsalis, male (TN)
Note the yellowish anterior surface of the apical flagellomeres. There is a slight chance that it might be a bellicosus male but I am strongly leaning towards dorsalis. Appears to be the first dorsalis image on BG for TN.

Please don't hesitate to post things like this
As far as I can tell, no hard-and-fast rules have yet come from the Data Point Debate. Hey, it's summer and everyone's busy. Several times, I've posted what I charitably call less-than-perfect images that have turned out to be fairly significant finds and certainly firsts for Bug Guide.

We all know most insects are hard to shoot in the field and should stop apologizing.

Most wasps are quick and active, and its hard to get them to hold still for a pic

Male, but dot dominula
This is a male of polistes fuscatus, the northern paper wasp.

I was getting all excited with the possibility that it was dominula. I checked the guide on fuscatus, and after glancing over the first page of images I wasn't convinced. However, I happened upon another image on the second page, and saw the comments about the range of variation and markings, with the red abdominal spots being fairly consistent, though, and now I agree. Oh well...eds, feel free to frass away, if you wish! I'm still gonna keep an eye out for dominula in TN!

You might see polistes dominula...
The european paper wasp is an introduced species, and is quickly spreading and taking over, becoming the dominant species over the native species. It is more bold and willing to nest around people, and is able to adapt to city life as well as life in rural areas.

I realize dominulus' status as an introduced species, and the negative impact it may have on populations of native wasps. Of course, the impact of such introduced/invasive species concerns me, but the possibility of being the first to report it if it is in TN was somewhat exciting. Maybe it's not here yet, and if so, I'm glad of that good news for our resident wasps!

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