My wife and I just moved to Southern Kansas and are still learning the local fauna could anyone please tell us what type of insect this is.enter image description here


1 Answer 1


This is a male Metric Paper Wasp (Polistes metricus).

Bugguide is an an authoritative source for arthropods in North America and describes these as:

Very dark--abdomen is black... thorax dark reddish-brown with black lines. Tibiae and tarsi are yellow (1). Males, like those of most Polistes species (exception being P. annularis), have a yellow face, while females have a reddish-brown face.


We see here that the abdomen, thorax and leg segment colours all match-up. The yellow seen at the top of the face is enough to separate it as a male.

Looking at iNaturalist for vespoid wasps in Kansas, we see that the most commonly observed wasp is this species.

Wasps in Kansas sorted by most-observed

Further, looking at the other species there in Kansas for similarly-coloured wasps, there are a few dark ones with reddish colouring but they would have red or yellow stripes in the abdomen, not all-black as this species has.


Bugguide has an extensive gallery of photos of this species, and I found one other with no wings:


This is the only photo I found in the >1000 photos I browsed in Bugguide and iNaturalist of this species that shows a specimen with no wings. So it is probably not a natural occurrence for these wasps to lose their wings (like from some natural predator or mating or feasting ritual or anything) - from the crumpled-look of the wings in the photo, my best guess is that these wings have been melted.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .