Identifying wasps

Sometimes people are not sure which wasps they have present. Here is a really good link from Landcare showing the difference between different wasps species found in New Zealand. The main thing to learn is the difference between Asian Paper Wasps (pictured here) and german/common wasp. It's important to distinguish between these wasps because control measures vary according to what species are present. All these wasps are bad introduced species that we could do without.


Asian paper wasps (Polistes chinensis antennalis): which are distinguishable from Vespula by have a different pattern of colouration on the abdomen. Paper wasps do not hold their legs close to their body, so when they fly they have "long dangly legs". Paper wasp nests are found above the ground and are not enclosed, so you can see into the cells (unlike Vespula nests where the layers of cells are enclosed in an envelope).

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