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Comanche Paper Wasp

Polistes comanchus

paper wasp, Polistes comanchus, photo © by Mike Plagens

This paper wasp is taking sugary sap from sapsucker holes in the trunk of an Arizona Sycamore, New River Mountains, Maricopa, Co., Arizona, USA. 26 November 2010.

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Paper wasps hunt various mostly soft-bodied insects to feed their larval young back at the paper nests they construct below a shelter. Several females and/or their daughters cooperate to build and provision the nest and in defense. All of this work takes energy and so the adults are frequent visitors at flowers where nectar supplies sugar. In addition paper wasps can frequently be found at seeps and stream edges taking water. The water is used in the making of paper from chewed wood and can also be applied directly to paper nests to provide evaporative cooling. The social activities of paper wasps have received considerable due attention.

Vespidae -- Hornet and Paper Wasp Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 28 Nov. 2010.