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Polistes wasp - Polistes metricus - male

Polistes wasp - Polistes metricus - Male
Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue, Sarpy County, Nebraska, USA
September 8, 2004
Size: approximately 1"
After looking at images and discussion on Bugguide we're wondering if this is P. metricus?
Any help appreciated.

Babs and Loren Padelford
Bellevue, NE

Images of this individual: tag all
Polistes wasp - Polistes metricus - male Polistes wasp - Polistes metricus - male

Polistes metricus, male (NE)
is correct.

Polistes metricus
Thanks, Dr. Buck for your help. It's good to finally get this cleared up. We've been misidentifying this species since 2004! Do you know if P. annularis is present in this area?
All of the wasps of this type that we see here have the yellow band on the abdomen.

Loren and Babs Padelford
Bellevue, NE

Interesting infomation
It is interesting to hear that all the metricus in your area show a yellow band on tergum 1. In eastern populations of metricus this is quite rare (maybe 10% or less of the wasps). Information like this is very useful for building identification keys for these wasps. Another feature that characterizes metricus from the western part of their range is that the black areas are very extensive (I have noticed that in specimens from KS and OK).

To your question: P. annularis has been recorded from NE and even from SD (see also range info in the Vespid Atlas). In general this is a relatively rare species (I have never seen it myself in the field!), and I don't know whether it occurs in your particular area. From what I have heard the species prefers riverine forests so that might be the best starting point for you to look. Since you are keen wasp observers (proven by your first discoveries of Parazumia symmorpha and Euodynerus sp. F for NE) you have a good chance of finding it if it indeed occurs in your area. Please let me know if you find it, and good luck for the next field season!

P. annularis
Dr. Buck,

Thanks so much for your comments. We suspect annularis is rare (if it's even here). Now that we know what to look for, we'll be watching for it. Good luck to you in the upcoming field season.

Loren and Babs Padelford
Bellevue, NE

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