European Paper Wasp image licensed under CC image licensed under CC The European paper wasp produces an aggregation chemical and new wasps will often nest where old nests have been knocked down. The European paper wasp is superficially similar to and commonly mistaken for various yellowjackets. Small cavities in playground equipment, open-ended poles, building soffit vents and structures built by humans are common nesting sites of European paper wasp. None of these are attractive to the European paper wasp. Photo about A European Paper Wasp is climbing on a green leaf. Access Online Add a Review. They are fairly slender-bodied insects with a distinct constriction of the body between the thorax and abdomen. The first Colorado record for the species is August, 2001 from Larimer County, and it likely entered eastern Colorado shortly before 2000. When full grown the larvae then seal over the cell and pupate. This urban versus rural difference means that the wasp has little impact on moths and butterflies inhabiting wild areas. Several yellowjacket species are native to Colorado and these historically have been the most significant stinging insects of the region. Yellowjackets nest underground or, occasionally, behind walls; hornets make conspicuous football-sized nests attached to branches or under eaves. The European paper wasp is superficially similar to and commonly mistaken for various yellowjackets (Vespula spp.). It has a black body with yellow markings and is slender-bodied with a “thread waist”. The European paper wasp is a social insect that produces an annual colony in a paper nest. Wasps of Colorado. During flight, the hind pair of legs trail below in an extended fashion. European Paper Wasp The European paper wasp (P. dominula) is generally black in color and marked with yellow. The nest is the characteristic upside-down umbrella shape, and the o… According the Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Entomologist, the European paper wasp "is devastating to essentially all species of yard and garden Lepidoptera." the long hind legs of paper wasps tend to trail below when the insects are in flight. A “thread waist” is a common phrase used to identify the definite narrowing of the body between the thorax and abdomen. Nests are often conspicuous and constructed under eaves, in small cavities and other protected sites. There are no traps or lures that can be used to control this species. Since the European paper wasps are a relatively new species in our area, many people aren’t familiar with them. ©2020, Colorado State University Extension, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA. European paper wasps have become one of the most important natural controls of many kinds of yard and garden insects. The European paper wasp is capable of stinging. A few of the wasps produced later in summer are males and increasing numbers of the females become sexually mature at that same time. In the morning, the newspapers can be crushed and disposed. European paper wasp colonies have a queen who is head of the colony. The European paper wasp, Polistes dominula, is a newly established insect now abundant in many areas of Colorado. Add to list. Taylor Creek Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately for butterfly gardeners in urban areas, the European paper wasp preys on painted lady and other butterfly larvae. The wasp was first discov-ered in the U.S. in Massachusetts in Employment | Apply to CSU | Sawfly larvae are also commonly taken prey. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned. Image of wasps, creek, vespid - 154151362 I cannot see any scenario on how it could get to Colorado on its own.” Commercially available ‘wasp traps’ are designed to attract certain kinds of yellowjackets and contain baits such as fruit juices, fresh meat, or heptyl butyrate (found in many retail wasp lures). Nests are almost always attached to either wood, roughened metal surfaces, or rock. Control is warrented when colonies in high human traffic locations grow large late in the season. European paper wasps (Figure 1A) can damage ripening or over ripened fruits, such as apples, cherries, and grapes. The European paper wasp is a social insect that produces an annual colony in a paper nest. Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. “This is not an insect that hitchhikes well —as does the European paper wasp — so for it to spread, it is on its own. The specific epithet dominula is a noun meaning "little mistress", and following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, species epithets which are nouns do not change when a … Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature Top of page. Disclaimer | These practices will inhibit surviving wasps, not present on the nest when it was destroyed, from attempting to reestablish a nest upon return. Description. This will eliminate larvae that were within capped cells during spraying. Please use our website feedback form. Non-Discrimination Statement | They do not produce nuisance problems around outdoor dining that characterize scavenging species, such as the western yellowjacket. The European Paper Wasp (EPW) though quite similar looking to a Yellow Jacket (YJ) - is an all together different creature, and problem. On rare occasions, they also may feed and damage ripe fruit. Sand Wasp BlueAppaloosa 5 3. Nests are constructed of paper, produced from chewed wood fibers of weathered fences, porch decks and similar sites. The overwintering stage are females (queens), only slightly larger than the wasps typically observed during summer. Often they find winter shelter outdoors but occasionally they will find suitable areas behind walls or in other areas of the house. A more aggressive species of wasp is quickly replacing native wasps throughout much of Colorado. Newcomers to Colorado will find specific information to successfully garden in Colorado's diverse climate and geography. European paper wasps have become one of the most important natural controls of many kinds of yard and garden insects. European paper wasps will sometimes feed on sweet materials, including honeydew produced by aphids. “Wasp and hornet sprays” containing permethrin and similar ingredients are effective. Yellowjackets forage for a broad range of foods, but they often come into conflict with humans when they are attracted to meat, carbonated beverages, juices, desserts, deceased animals, and other food items. There are 4 species of paper wasps that inhabit Colorado. (European paper wasps can be encouraged to nest in nest boxes. Colorado State Publications. It wreaked havoc in Colorado and Utah for over 15 years before finally making its way to Wyoming in late 2016. The European paper wasp is such an efficient and effective hunter and predator of caterpillars in the urban environment that it may be contributing to the decline of butterfly populations. Photo about Two gorgeus european paper wasp from close range. Dark cavities are often used, including those found in outdoor grills, large bells, pipes, rock cavities, and hollow spaces behind walls. Available Online. Unlike the Western yellow jacket, this wasp does not scavenge garbage. The first Colorado record for the species is August, 2001 from Larimer County, and it likely entered eastern Colorado shortly before 2000. (Large numbers of the native western yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica, and prairie yellowjacket, V. atripilosa, are captured by these traps.). European paper wasps are similar to native paper wasps in their nesting/feeding habits and are similarly considered beneficial when not posing a threat to human activity. Initially, a few hexagonal paper cells are formed and eggs laid in the cells. Publisher . The Western yellow jacket is stout-bodied and builds a paper nest covered with a paper envelope, generally in the ground. European Paper Wasp adults drink flower nectar and occasionally rotting fruit, but they do not care for sugary drinks, so this is not an insect that ruins picnics. Most perish with cold weather except fertilized queens that find protected sites to overwinter. The fertilized overwintering females seek protected sites for shelter during the cold season. CSU Extension - A division of the Office of Engagement. Wasps are perhaps the most under-appreciated of all insects, yet remarkably diverse in form, complex in behavior, and critically important to ecosystem health. Average Rating. Colorado State University Extension. European paper wasps feed primarily on live insects and successfully control pests like the cabbageworm, tomato hornworm and corn earworm. As in all paper wasps, the "waist" is very thin. There is no evidence that the new species has significantly affected their activities. Both chew their food to feed their young and begin the season with small nests started by fertilized queens that survive the winter. The species is by far the most common Polistes in Western Europe. Overwintered females emerge from these areas in spring and search out sites to establish nests in the neighborhood. 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