Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

Sitio realizado por aficionados a la observación de aves desde 10 de enero 2006

Potter and paper wasps - Family Vespidae

Order Hymenoptera
Family Vespidae

The wasps of this family are in generanl dark with yellow, white and red marks. They have long curve antennae. When the wasps are at rest, they fold their wings longitudinally. This characteristic helps differentiate them from other famliies. 

Nowadays Vespidae is divided into six subfamilies: Eumeninae, Euparagiinae, Masarinae, Polistinae, Stenogastrinae and Vespinae. There are social, weakly social and solitary species. There are also a few cleptoparasitic. 

The Polistinae wasps are known as paper wasps since they build nests by chewing vegetal fibres and saliva, producing a paper-like material. They feed larvae with masticated prey.  

The Eumeninae build their nest out of mud in crevices, hollow branches or in rocks. When it is built under the ground, a chimney is added over the access to the nest. Larvae are fed with paralized living prey.

In the reserve these two subfamilies may be encountered and there are four in Argentina: three are native and one has been introduced

Potter wasp
05-11-13 © Gustavo F. Brahamian

Subfamily Eumeninae

Potter wasp
29-04-16 © Cora Rimoldi

Nest of paper wasp

Potter and paper wasps
08-05-21 © Gustavo F. Brahamian

Predated by
Chalk-browed Mockingbird
13-04-17 © Gustavo F. Brahamian
Chalk-browed mockingbird Mimus saturninus
Hepatic Tanager
09-06-18 © Ricardo Palonsky
Hepatic tanager Piranga flava