Polistes chinensis antennalis

Threats Status

Unwanted Organism

Common Name(s)

Asian paper wasp




Asian paper wasp occur on shrubland, wetland and in urban areas. Their nest is a delicate paper nests (about the size of a pear) is similar to those of Australian paper wasp (Polistes humilis), and generally built in trees or bushes (branches) or on man-made structures. They feed on nectar and honeydew and prey on invertebrates. They are weak fliers with a maximum distance of less than 80m.


Asian paper wasps are of medium size (larger than Australian paper wasp (Polistes humilis)) and have a slender reddish-brown to black body with yellow rings and reddish areas on their abdomen. They have unusually long legs (that are hanging down when they are flying) and reddish to brown wings.

Similar Species

Australian paper wasp (Polistes humilis), 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.


Throughout most of New Zealand, excluding south of Otago. It had also reached various islands north of Auckland.


Body: 18-25mm long

Year Introduced


Reason For Introduction


Colonisation History

First introduced to New Zealand accidentally north of Auckland in 1979 (source unknown) and are now widespread throughout both main islands.