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Paper Wasp

Polistes instabilis


While not nearly the largest of the wasps in the area, these paper wasps measure up to an inch long from head to tail tip. They are some of the most beautifully colored wasps. During the rainy season, now, they are often fanning the nest with their wings. I imagine to keep it dry. They are not very defensive. One can usually get within six to eight inches away with no defensive interactions. In their majority, I have seen them chewing soft palm from leaves to use as nest building materials.


Tropical dry forest in the height of rainy season and 350 meters to the ocean.


Each time I have been stung they have drawn blood! They usually go right for the head as well, LOL. The provided Wikipedia link has so much quality information about this species.

No species ID suggestions


LarryGraziano a year ago

Thank you Christine. It means a lot!!!!

Christine Y.
Christine Y. a year ago

Beautiful shots!

I have a large nest of Warrior Wasp in my 2nd story balcony, I notice they do the wing drumming and then proceded to reinforce the nest...Could they be doing the same? By the way I also have 3 growing nest of Paper Wasp I have come as close as a few inches to Photograph them and they never attack me.

LarryGraziano a year ago

Done Ava. Earlier, I couldn't find the mission in my mission list which is quite extensive. I was looking for animal architecture but it doesn't have that name and that is why I didn't see it.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B a year ago

Please consider adding this spotting to the Animal Architecture mission at

Provincia Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Lat: 10.20, Long: -85.83

Spotted on Sep 9, 2017
Submitted on Sep 11, 2017

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