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Paper Wasp - Polistes aurifer - female

Paper Wasp - Polistes aurifer - Female
Thompson Falls, Sanders County, Montana, USA
August 27, 2006
On water.

Thanks for the help, I should have known Eric was right. :)

Polistes aurifer, female
This is definitely not fuscatus (note large yellow spots on tergum 2 which occur only in fuscatus males, and largely reddish dorsal surface of flagellum - black in fuscatus). I am not very familiar with the western fauna but this looks like a good match for P. aurifer.

P. aurifer?
Reminds me more of Polistes aurifer, which was once considered a subspecies of P. fuscatus. Truthfully, I don't know the range of P. aurifer, other than in the Pacific states.

I found sites that mentioned them both in CA and British Columbia, so I would imagine they are found here as well. One site mentioned that they are considered a separate species by some and a subspecies of fuscatus by others. The few images I found on the net looked like they had less black markings on the abdomen than this specimen, but there were very few images to compare to.

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