Paper Wasp - Ropalidia revolutionalis


This page contains pictures and information about Paper Wasps that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Insects body length 10mm

This Paper Wasps are common in Brisbane Garden and bush. This species is smallest paper wasps that we found. Their head, thorax, abdomen and wings are all in dark brown colour, with darker band on abdomen. They are not aggressive but will sting if their nest is disturbed.   

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Their nests consist of several adjacent combs. Each comb is about 100mm long, consists of two columns of cells. The above picture shows the established paper wasps nest in late summer. 
Paperwasps, like all ants and some bees, are social insects, each nest is a colony of females. Only one female, the queen, lays all the eggs. All the other females are workers, they help their mother queen for feeding their sisters. At the end of the summer season, the colony produces male and fertile female wasps. They mate with the males and fertile females from other colonies. The fertile females then hind in some place to pass the winter. They will start their own colony in the next spring season.
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The first picture shows a newly setup nest in spring season. A few wasps work together to build the nest. They could be sisters. The second picture show a working wasp. Paper Wasps have a yearly cycle of their life. In spring season a Paper Wasp female starts building its nest. She will be the queen if her colony can be established.  Paper Wasps build nest under sheltered area, such as under palm leaf, large tree trunk and building covers. 

The above pictures show a wasp attending a larva. Paper Wasps feed their young with insects such as caterpillars. Adult wasps feed on nectar. Notice the way how to keep their wings when rest. This is the common characteristic of all paper wasps. Other wasps do not keep their wings in this way.

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We found that for this species, some of them start a nest with a few wasps working together. Some, like the one shown in the above pictures, start a nest by one single female. She will become the queen if she her nest can be established. From the pictures, she has five pupa and some developing larvae. She has a good chance to success.

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Last updated: October 24, 2006.