Paper Wasp (Polistes sp., Vespidae)

Posted by itchydogimages (Pu'er, China) on 19 April 2014 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Polistes sp. wasps are prolific 'drinkers' and will often be found on or near water or moist ground. They all need water to manufacture saliva to mix with wood fibres to create the paper used in building their nests (they are not collecting mud for nest construction like potter wasps would do for example).
A dated observation ("Polistes Wasps and Their Use of Water", P. Rau, 1931) also suggested that at the height of summer, the adult wasps collected water to dampen the silken caps woven by the prepupal larva over the entrance of their pupal cell presumably for the purpose of cooling their offspring or preventing desiccation.

Pu'er, Yunnan, China

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Sony DSC-R1
1/160 second
ISO 160
54 mm


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