Polistes humilis

Threats Status

Unwanted Organism

Common Name(s)

Australian paper wasp, Tasmanian paper wasp




Australian paper wasp occur on shrubland, wetland and in urban areas. Their nest is a delicate paper nests (similar to Asian paper wasp (Polistes chinensis antennalis) and attached by a short stalk to trees or man-made structures. They feed on nectar and honeydew and prey on invertebrates.


Australian paper wasps are smaller in size than the Asian paper wasp (Polistes chinensis antennalis) and can have a distinct black and reddish-brown coloration of their slender body. They have unusually long legs (that are hanging down when they are flying) and reddish to brown wings.

Similar Species

Asian paper wasp (Polistes chinensis antennalis), German wasp (Vespula germanica), common wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Threat To Plants

Prey on invertebrates and competition with honeybees and native bird species nectar and honeydew which may have secondary effects on the vegetation due to changes in ecosystem processes.


Restricted to upper north Island, one record from Manawatu


Body: 12-15mm long

Year Introduced


Reason For Introduction


Colonisation History

First introduced to New Zealand in the 1880s