Insect and Bug ID forum: Wasp nest but is this a wasp?

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Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
Image
mellielong
Feb 1, 2015 3:50 PM CST
I saw something today in a Redbay tree and I thought it looked like a paper wasp nest. But, it was really big and the holes were bigger, too. I was about to reach up with my butterfly net (I was volunteering at MOSI) and knock it down when I noticed one very large occupant. Is that thing a wasp? Or is it what came and ate the wasps that did live there? Hilarious! I wold estimate it at maybe two inches long. Sorry I couldn't get better pictures but it was high in the tree and I zoomed as far as I could. Thanks as always, folks!

Thumb of 2015-02-01/mellielong/51714a Thumb of 2015-02-01/mellielong/5d0653

Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
Feb 3, 2015 8:04 AM CST
The colouring matches Polistes major or carnifex ..

http://bugguide.net/node/view/...

However, wiki states Polistes carniflex is small .. and it doesn't appear to be in Florida.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp...

Polistes major is in Florida .. note the yellow head and yellow shoulders.

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp...

The large size of Polistes major major adults and the extensive yellow coloration on their body helps to distinguish this species from other polistines. However, the degree of yellow coloration varies, even among the members of a single nest. Very little has been published on this species.


http://socialwaspsofflorida.bl...


Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
Feb 3, 2015 8:11 AM CST
P. major major larvae primarily feed upon caterpillars and treehoppers


P. major major and other Polistes major subspecies are preyed upon by various bird species, namely the Red-bellied Woodpecker


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

Nature's food chain! So, you will be rid of pests and probably feed woodpeckers.
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
Image
mellielong
Feb 3, 2015 8:44 AM CST
Thanks for the ID, Janet. But you may want to see my signature. Eating caterpillars would be a very, very bad thing. Must learn to attract woodpeckers!
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
Feb 3, 2015 9:37 AM CST
Maybe they prefer moth caterpillars?! Sticking tongue out

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