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I think if I had to rule one way or the other, I'd go with Polistes metricus. There are several traits used to differentiate the two. (1) Generally, P. fuscatus of this form will have red markings on the third abdominal segment while P. metricus never does (point for P. m. but doesn't rule out P. f.). (2) Easily most diagnostic, P. f. has a more smoothly curved abdominal segment 2, while P. m. has this segment highly convex (not visible, so no points either way). (3) P. f. most often has the dark facial mark extent from the ocelli down to the antennal bases while P. m. always has some form of separation (another point for P. m. as there's separation, albeit narrow but also doesn't rule out P. f.). However, when both traits 1 and 3 as above line up this way, it's probably P. metricus over P. fuscatus.
Photo No. 1: is a beautiful photo....a beautiful wasp....
Hi Jonathan! I agree with you. I hadn’t considered that species when I made my initial ID suggestion. Can you say for certain? Joseph, here is a link for reference to compare. https://bugguide.net/node/view/60264
I'm not seeing anything here to rule out Polistes metricus.
Glad to help! :-)
Thank you both for the help.
I think it's some kind of paper wasp (Polistes sp.), but I'm not sure what species.http://bugguide.net/node/view/572
Lat: 42.10, Long: -83.30
Spotted on Jun 27, 2015 Submitted on Jul 1, 2015