European paper wasp

European paper wasp

Polistes dominula

Common name:

European paper wasp

Scientific name:

Polistes dominula

Alternative common names:


Description:

A medium-sized wasp with a body length of 12-16mm. It is boldly patterned with black and yellow and almost identical to the German wasp – also invasive in the Western Cape. It has yellow and black bars on the abdomen and constructs communal paper nests in trees, shrubs and under roof eaves.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Europe.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape in the vicinity of Cape Town.

How does it spread?

Through flight to new areas.

Why is it a problem?

This is a non-indigenous species which competes against indigenous species. It also presents a potential hazard to hikers, gardeners and the like as they can attack and sting if the nest is disturbed.

What does it look like?

Description: A medium-sized wasp with a body length of 12-16mm. It is boldly patterned with black and yellow and almost identical to the German wasp – also invasive in the Western Cape. It has yellow and black bars on the abdomen and constructs communal paper nests in trees, shrubs and under roof eaves.

Habitat: Fynbos, parks and gardens in the Western Cape.

Breeding: Deposit eggs in the paper nests.

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