Wasp Week Day 6: Northern Paper Wasp

Wasp on leaf
Northern Paper Wasp, Polistes fuscatus
Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, 2007-09-23

Much less aggressive and problematic than the invasive European cousins from Day 4. Nonetheless getting too close to a nest would be an incredibly stupid thing to do. Like most social wasps they will defend their nests if disturbed. Otherwise they leave humans well enough alone.

Brown wasp on leaf

2 Responses to “Wasp Week Day 6: Northern Paper Wasp”

  1. bob Says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this “theme” series of pics and commentary. I hope you do more of them on other “ignored” subjects. How about roaches, flies, or ticks?

  2. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    It’s a good idea. Possibly the next theme will be bees. Flies could be really interesting too. They’re tough to ID, but I have some wonderful fly photos from some species that look as much like a housefly as Laetitia Casta looks like a chimpanzee. :-) Spiders are another possibility. Personally, roaches and ticks still disgust me; but that’s just a gut reaction I should get over. Possibly if I started looking for these creatures, they might surprise me as much as the wasps, bees, and flies did. The common ones we find in our homes may well not be the only or the prettiest ones out there.

    However, smaller and faster insects such as flies do require better photography skills than I currently possess. I’ve seen fly pictures from other insect photographers such as Steve Nanz that are way beyond anything I can accomplish. One of my favorites of his is this picture of a Robber Fly eating a beetle he took at Ridgewood Reservoir. The fly was barely visible to the naked eye, and the beetle it’s earting is about a third of its size. I am reading photo books and looking into new camera equipment. Maybe one day I’ll be able to take pictures like this too.

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