Paper Wasps  
This wasp is attacking a caterpillar. I saw it, ran for the camera (which will spend even MORE time in my pocket now that I nearly missed this picture), and had time for three quick photos before the wasp flew away with the caterpillar to have dinner elsewhere.
My yard is mostly pesticide free. Wasps are my largest exception. Yes, they are interesting, even pretty, but I have two issues with them. They don't like to be photographed; my second digital camera went flying and was a total loss after I tried to take a picture of the nest and they all came at me. The worst though, because admittedly the camera was my own fault, is that they EAT my CATERPILLARS! You might have been expecting a sting comment, but even though I've bugged them (ha ha, get it?) a lot, I haven't been stung (yet {one got me when I was a kid, but that doesn't count here}). People do not seem to be their favorite food. Don't go playing with them because I said that - I have NOT tried to pick one up...
paper wasp eats a caterpillar
paper wasp eats zebra heliconain caterpillar (larvae)
wasp
paper wasp nest
This vile wasp on the left is chowing down on a Zebra Heliconian Butterfly caterpillar. He flew away carrying the remains just after I took this picture. I tried to follow him home so I could eradicate the whole family, but he flew faster than I could follow.

I've noticed that the wasps are always on patrol.  They fly facing my host plants, a few inches away, searching, always searching for caterpillars and other creatures to eat.  I HATE them!

This is the last photo I took with the camera I lost my grip on when the wasps all came at me. The nest was under my mailbox. I REALLY enjoyed using the bug spray on this wasp nest!
In this picture of a paper wasp nest, you can see the larvae (one dead on the side, others peering up from inside the holes) and the covers on the maturing wasps.
The small white ovals in several of the cells are wasp eggs.
...and a few more pictures of some South Florida caterpillar eating paper wasps:
paper wasp
paper wasp nest
wasp
florida paper wasp
wasp
paper wasp nest
My wasps will nest just about anywhere they can find some protection. This nest is in a small hollow on the side of a tree. I've also found them in plants, under the edge of the roof, on flowerpots, and elsewhere.
paper wasp nest
The larger bug on the left is a dead Mydas Fly. The wasp on the right seemed to be chewing on it when I took the picture. I checked back later, and found just the dead one. That evening it was gone too.

There are more bee/wasp pictures on my bees and wasps page.

Be careful if you spray wasp nests. Do it on a calm day so you can keep the spray mostly just on the nest where it won't be so bad for your butterflies and good bugs.

I captured a parasitic wasp emerging from a Zebra Heliconian butterfly chrysalis.

I also had some gnat like things lay eggs on my Gulf Fritillary Butterfly caterpillar, and 81 little buggies emerged instead of the butterfly.  After looking at the bugs with my magnifying glass, I think they're wasps too.  Check them out here.

paper wasp eats a bee
Site Map:
Butterflies
Moths
Caterpillars
Diving, Wading & Wetland Birds
Warblers & Little Birds
More Birds
Snakes, Lizards, and Slithery Critters
Spiders
Squishy Bugs
Crunchy Bugs
More Creatures
Butterfly Nectar Plants
Butterfly & Moth Host Plants
Wetland plants
Vines
Lawn Weeds
Wildflowers
Other Plants & Fungi
Shrub, Bush & Tree Sized Plants
Paper Folding: Origami Bird, Egg, and Nest
Paper Quilling: Snowflake Ornaments
Cut Paper Snowflakes
Butterfly Garden Basics
My Email, Image Use Information, Credits & Disclaimer
Index of everything that didn't fit on one of the other main pages
Privacy Policy