Paper nest Wasp
Scientific Name: Ropalidia gregaria
Other Common Names:
Species documented in 1854 by Saussure.
Growing to a size of up to 15mm, the Papernest wasp has a brown coloured body with yellow rectangular patterns across the thorax, and two yellow bands on the abdomen.
Larvae or pupa live in the cells of the nest, worker Paper nest wasps capture food and return to the nest to feed the young.
The Papernest wasps live in a nest of cells hanging from trees. The dominant females have been documented to occupy the largest cell (Ito & Yamane, 1992).
The Paper nest wasp gets the name from the nest they make; grey of colour with a texture similar to paper.
Papernest wasps feed on small insects. They have been shown to be of benefit to the everyday gardener, eating caterpillars and aphids from roses (Gardening Australia, 2002).
Some females of the colony are reported to have unique tasks for the day, such as collecting water (Ito & Yamane, 1992).
Australian Government, 2007. Australian Faunal Directory, Department of the Environment and Water Resources. Available from <http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/abrs/fauna/details.pl? pstrVol=VESPOIDEA;pstrTaxa=958;pstrChecklistMode=2> [Accessed 9th February 2007]
Ito, Y. & S. Yamane, 1992. Social behavior of two primitively eusocial wasps, Ropalidia sp. nr. bariegata and R. gregaria gregaria (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in the northern territory, Australia, with special reference to task speciation and mating inhibition, Journal of Ethology. Vol. 10 No. 1. pp 63-75.
Gardening Australia, 2002. Paper Nest Wasps, ABC. Available from: <http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s657287.htm> [Accessed 9th February 2007] 63