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Thursday, 25 July 2019

Common wasp

Polistes gallicus (also historically referred to as Polistes foederatus) is a fairly common species of paper wasp found in various parts of Europe, excluding England, Denmark, and Scandinavia, from warmer climates to cooler regions north of the Alps. The distribution of P. gallicus also extends into northern regions of Africa, Israel, Iran, and even parts of China and Russia. Nests of these social insects are created in these various conditions.
The Polistes species uses an oral secretion to construct their nests, which consist of a combination of saliva and chewed plant fibers. This structural mixture physically protects the nest from various harsh elements and from weathering over time. P. gallicus can be spotted due to its distinct markings of bright yellow and black. It is relatively small in size compared to other native Polistes species. Curled antennae are a common characteristic in the genus for males, despite being shorter in length in comparison to wasps of other species. Their faces are also completely yellow in color. This species of wasp feeds its brood after visiting numerous flowers, collecting nectar in addition to feeding them meat. Due to its dimensions, they likely transfer pollen to the stigma, despite the fact that P. gallicus bodies are almost bald, which leads to few or no pollen grains stuck on them after foraging. This specific body type can help with identification.
The extensive range of P. gallicus includes a variety of climates and habitats, although ideally it prefers to nest in warm and dry areas. In Italy, nests are typically built in open areas hanging from branches with the cells opened towards the ground. In the colder conditions north of the Alps, metal scraps such as pipes serve as protective enclosures to P. gallicus nests. These wasps are the most widely distributed Polistes in Spain. P. gallicus also inhabits parts of Paris, although the farther north, the more rare this species becomes. Its conservation status in general has not been evaluated yet, although in its inhabited regions, it is common.

 

(latin: polistes gallicus) 

Thursday, 25 July 2019