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Archive for August 11, 2011

European Paper Wasp

The European paper wasp (Polistes dominula) was introduced to the New Jersey Pine Barrens in 1968, and has since spread throughout most of the North America.  Considered an invasive species by most entomologists, it looks more like a yellowjacket than the paper wasp that it is.  The European paper wasp nests earlier in the spring, in a wider variety of nest sites, and feeds on a larger variety of insects than native species of wasps.  In the photograph if you look closely you can see that it is scraping off a fine line of dead plant tissue on the underside of this leaf, assumedly for use in expanding its paper nest.