Atlas of Life home NatureMapr NatureMapr

Social, potter & paper-nest wasp (Vespidae)Polistes (Polistella) humilis

Common Paper Wasp at Tura Beach, NSW

2 images

Polistes (Polistella) humilis at Tura Beach, NSW - 15 May 2019
Polistes (Polistella) humilis at Tura Beach, NSW - 15 May 2019

Identification history

Social, potter & paper-nest wasp (Vespidae) Polistes (Polistella) humilis 15 May 2019 KimPullen
Social, potter & paper-nest wasp (Vespidae) Polistes (Polistella) humilis 15 May 2019 JackieMiles
Unidentified 15 May 2019 Steff

Author's notes

These wasps have made a nest on the brick wall under a window sill. The nest looks like a grey and black beehive about the size of a cricket ball. Should I be concerned about them?

4 comments

   15 May 2019
Hi Steff, Looks like the native Polistes humilis, though I would have said the nest was more like an upside down mushroom hanging by its stem. We get them under our eaves. They pack a wallop if you annoy them (for example, opening an umbrella under the nest is not a good idea!) but generally we rub along without incident. Depends how close the nest is to paths, as to whether evicting them is necessary. If you decide it is, I generally go after ours in the early morning when they are cold, with a sprayer of pyrethrum and clean up the dead wasps and larvae after so that birds or skinks can't eat them. Their nests don't seem to get much bigger over time, whereas the other common native paper wasp, Ropalidia plebeiana, builds hanging free form sheets that just go on getting bigger season by season. They sometimes form enormous colonies under bridges.
Steff wrote:
   15 May 2019
Thank you for your help! The nest is under a second story window frame so they are fine where they are, I don't think we need to mess about with their house.
I'm interested in the different nest shape you describe, these ones have made a shape like a ball smooshed onto the bricks with kind of honeycomb like chambers. I can't get a photo because it's too high up and the zoom on my phone is rubbish!
   16 May 2019
Hi Steff, Actually on reviewing our photos, I see we do have one showing a rather ball-like nest, but mostly they seem to be flat-bottomed like this one: Social, potter & paper-nest wasp (Vespidae) Polistes (Polistella) humilis (Common Paper Wasp) on 26 Jan 2007
Here's our ball shaped one: Social, potter & paper-nest wasp (Vespidae) Polistes (Polistella) humilis (Common Paper Wasp) on 1 Mar 2015
Steff wrote:
   17 May 2019
Those links are really cool, thank you!
I have had another look at the nest and I think the way the wasps have built it , kind of wedged up under the window sill, makes it look kind of like a ball of playdo squashed under the sill. I'm guessing the anchor stalk is hidden from view and the shape is like the second link image.
Thanks again for your information.

Please Login or Register to comment.

Location

Location information

Species information

  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 4 - 15 Abundance
  • 15 May 2019 11:49 AM Recorded on
  • Steff Recorded by
  • Website Reported via
Canberra Nature Map Frogwatch ACT and Region Budawang Coast Nature Map Southern Highlands Nature Map Noosa Shire Nature Map Albury Wodonga Nature Map
337221 sightings of 5907 species in 282 locations from 608 members
Powered by NatureMapr |  Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness operates under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia |  Privacy