Polistes instabilis

Paper Wasp

Polistes instabilis, Paper Wasp image from Central America

Family: Vespidae

Subfamily: Polistinae

Tribe: Polistini

Wing length: about 14 mm


Polistes instabilis is found in Mexico (Sonora and Tamaulipas southward), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

The comb of the nest is leaf-shaped, with the peduncle at one end.  Nearly half of all nests shown signs of being parasitized by the Pyralid Moth Chalcoela iphitalis (Richards, 1978).

Photo location: Matagalpa department, Nicaragua.

Determined by Dr. James Carpenter, American Museum of Natural History.

Paper wasp, Nicaragua, Polistes instabilis

American Insects site