Prime pollinator in TX Coastal Bend for Mexican Poinsettia
Red Wasp (Polistes carolina)
26 August 2015: The large Red Wasp (Polistes carolina) was one among several different kinds of wasps that were present at the remaining water holes on Cooper Creek next to Avondale Park in Denton, Texas. We can’t be sure what it is that this particular Red Wasp that we photographed had but it seems to be the head of another insect in its mouth while it is at the creek drawing water at the same time. We will leave that mystery to be solved or explained by those who know far more about wasp behavior and especially that of the Red Wasp than we do. But we found this odd and interesting at the same time. We could be totally wrong about this thing being the head of another insect, but there does seem to be a pair of eyes that shows through the details in the image. The City of Denton, Texas administers Avondale Park.
Source: “Red Wasp (Polistes carolina),” iNaturalist, accessed 8.26.16, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/121792-Polistes-carolina
Hornets and Yellowjackets (Vespinae)
Nest in compost pile was ransacked and ripped up, probably by a skunk. This large wasp was crawling around on ground (queen maybe?), smaller workers were aggressively swarming the area.
Hanging around my office, on my field guides.
Apparently, a male, according to BugGuide - the hooked antennae and yellow face.
St Olaf Natural Lands
Common Aerial Yellowjacket, male
St Olaf Natural Lands
Ok, so I am really frustrated by this wasp... No, not its ID, but what it has on its abdomen... I wish wish wish I would have had a bag with me. I would have caught this wasp, frozen it, and then excavated the parasites! I think they're twisted winged parasites!!!
Ah well. Maybe next time. :)
The Vespidae are a large (nearly 5,000 species), diverse, cosmopolitan family of wasps, including nearly all the known eusocial wasps (such as Polistes annularis) and many solitary wasps. Each social wasp colony includes a queen and a number of female workers with varying degrees of sterility relative to the queen. In temperate social species, colonies usually only last one year, dying at the onset of winter. New queens and males (drones) are produced towards the end...