People mistake Yellow Jacket and Paper Wasp for each other. Yellow Jacket is short and stout, while Paper Wasp is slender with long dangling legs. Paper Wasp has a reddish brown to black body, with yellowish or brown striping.
Paper Wasps build their nests from wood pulp or other paper materials. The Queen will search for fibers from dried wood. Using her mandibles, She will peel off the fibers, roll them in a ball, and carry the ball back to the nest in her mouth. Queen Paper Wasp prefers building her umbrella-shaped nest under house eaves and overhangs.
Paper Wasps have a unique social system. Unlike many other Social Insects, about one fourth of Paper Wasps in a nest are not related to the Queen. Scientists theorize that unrelated Paper Wasps defend the nest because They have a chance of inheriting the nest if the Queen dies. Whatever the reason, the other Paper Wasps tolerate these strangers.
Paper Wasp teaches how to live in a stepfamily. All Wasps work to help the Queen whether They are her Sisters or Cousins or neither. Both groups of Paper Wasps live as together as one.
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Natural History and Evolution of Paper-Wasps
Paper Wasp Photo copyrighted by Dexter Sear, IO Vision.