Paper Wasp  (three photos)
Polistes aurifer

"Bearer of Gold"

gold wasp

paper wasp

I was stopped in my tracks by the beauty of this wasp. It was just lying peacefully upside-down on a leaf on Antelope Island. 
According to a few of the articles I have seen, Polistes aurifer make paper nests, usually in a protected spot.   An article from states these wasps, in addition to gathering nectar, feed on caterpillars.  Sooo, they help keep your yard free of
pesky caterpillars eating your plants.  Unfortunately, they are related to the "cranky" Yellowjacket, which is usually not a favorite of
humans, me included.  It's hard not to like a wasp like the "Bearer of Gold" because of its ornate, golden beauty.  © Carol Davis 9-2-2008

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