Common Name: Red Paper Wasp

Scientific Name: Polistes carolinus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Hespidae
Genus: Polistes
Species: P. carolina



There are many, many insects in the world, but in this report I'm going to talk about an interesting wasp!  This wasps scientific name is Polistes Carolinus (Red Paper Wasp).  To describe this insect, it's a medium size, and it is a very interesting insect!  The location of this insect is in most of North America.  My purpose of this essay is to tell you interesting facts about this wasp!

To begin this report, I'm going to talk about their description.  The size of this wasp is 3/4 to 1 inch long.  The coloration is brown with yellow markings on the head, thorax and bands on the abdomen, and overall this wasp is reddish-brown.  The adaptations are that they can typically make a hole by digging a completed cavity within two weeks.  The identification characteristics are Large Polistes, red all over with dark wings.  P. Annularis Wasp could be confused with the Red Paper Wasp but the difference is the abdomen because it has prominent yellow wings.  

Next, I'm going to talk about their habitat, population, and conservation.  These wasps are found in Maryland and North America.  There are over 7500 wasps and their population is shrinking because the queen stop laying eggs, and that colony starts to decline.  In the fall, females offspring of the queen seek overwintering sites.  The remains of that colony do not survive the winter.  There is no conservation due to the high population of this insect. 

Now I'm going to talk about their diet, feeding habits, and predators.  The wasp certainly has its spot in the food chain.  They eat caterpillars, flies, and beetles, they eat these bugs in the middle of summer.  They usually  eat these bugs in North America, and they eat these by stinging their food over and over again to numb their prey.  For example, spiders eat this wasp, and to prevent from getting eaten, they sting their predators. 

The importance of this wasp is that when they sting it is unforgettably painful.  What stood  out to me when I read about this wasp was that it can sting you over and over again, but not loose its stinger.  My final thoughts are that this was probably the most interesting insect I've ever researched and I hope to do this again!

Author: Ryann B.
Published: 03/13

Photo Credit: Jeffery Pippen 2007