Paper wasp

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Paper wasp (Polistes)


Any of several members of the wasp family, such as the Vespa crabo (in Europe) and Vespa vugaris (in North America), that construct their papery nest from chewed wood pulp. The wasps chew plant and wood fibers, mixing them with saliva to produce a moistened pulp that they form into the thin cell walls of their nest. A related species, called the wood wasp (family Xiphydriidae), is found in Europe and North America. The adult insects are about 20 to 25 mm long and they produce wood-boring larvae. Larger wasps are commonly called hornets or yellow jackets.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Vespa crabo (Europe); Vespa vugaris (North America); wood wasp; paper hornet; yellow jacket; Feldwespen (Deut.);

Additional Images


  • E.J.LaBarre, E.J.LaBarre, Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-making, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1969
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • G.Caneva, M.P.Nugari, O.Salvadori, G.Caneva, M.P.Nugari, O.Salvadori, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, Rome, 1991

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