Adults are about 10-15mm long with a tanish-red coloration with bands of yellow on the face. As with other Polistes they have long and slender wings.
They build their nest out of grey wood fiber material, which is a mixture of their own saliva and wood. A colony can have up to 20 individuals, eggs are laid in separate cells keeping the larvae to themselves. Adults will tend to the larvae and feed them chewed-up insects.
As with most Polistes they can be seen as a pest in highly trafficked areas, such as doorways and other areas around the home. Beyond a sometimes painful sting there is no danger from a sting, unless one is known to be allergic there is no real need to worry. The best way to avoid a sting is to simply stay away from a nest if possible, don't antagonize a nest if there is no need. If you must spray them spray from the side and at night when they are sleeping. This species is a native Australian wasp and is actually beneficial. It is known to eat non-native introduced species, thus reducing invasive species.
- "Common paper wasp (Fact Sheet)". http://www.csiro.au/resources/CommonPaperWasps.html. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- "PaDIL". http://www.padil.gov.au/viewPestDiagnosticImages.aspx?id=785. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
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