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

Calendar
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

TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#230034
Paper Wasp - Polistes dorsalis - male

Paper Wasp - Polistes dorsalis - Male
Mobile (Dog River), Mobile County, Alabama, USA
September 27, 2008
Looks much like Polistes bellicosus, including the marking on the head. But there are some minor differences to think different species not just variables.

Polistes male (AL)
From this angle it is very hard to tell the difference between P. bellicosus and P. dorsalis. I am more inclined towards dorsalis, especially if the individual was relatively small.

 
Yellow/Black Thorax
I'll see if I have another angle. The yellow thorax markings on my wasp are bordered by black. Others are bordered with rust body color. Is that yellow/black combination species related?

 
Coloration
The character you mention is not diagnostic and varies greatly. What makes me think of dorsalis here is that the abdomen and propodeum are very dark but the head and antennae are very light. Bellicosus with such dark abdomens would also have darker heads and antennae.

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