Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Discussion of 2018 gathering

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

Congregation of male wasps? - Polistes fuscatus - male

Congregation of male wasps? - Polistes fuscatus - Male
Perry County, Pennsylvania, USA
is it normal for male polistes to congregate like this? there is something about this corner by the chimney... every fall male polistes gather in the same spot. my brother would knock them down, and then 10 min later they would all be back again.

congregation on new peach tree
There are about twenty of them just hanging packed on a couple peach tree leaves. This is the first year the trees have been this big and the wasps sure weren't there last year. They've been here around a week. They look like they're communing with each other, legs on their neighbors and antennae touching.

Communal roosting place for males
A widespread behavior, not only in Polistes but in some Hormets too (Oriental Hornet Vespa orientalis from Eastern Mediterranean is especially prone to do this).
But despite frequent occurence, there is something of a mystery there, as you point out. What is actually the "something" who induces the insects to gather there and nowhere else, and year after year at the same place?

this is the only place i have ever seen them gather before.. i have never seen any other species do this, only fuscatus. and yes, every year they are in the same spot. i dont know how or why they do it... how would they know to come there? an interesting experiment that i am planning on doing is marking males from a certain nest with a certain color of paint(just a little dab on the top of the thorax.) that way i can see if it is only males from one nest or not.

i guess its only the males that do this since they have nothing else to do...

should i add
this image to the guide under polistes since it shows this behavior?

I think it would be useful...
to add them, even if they are very many images of P. fuscatus.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.