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NZ has no native vespid wasps, albeit four species have been established here.

Two of those species include the Australian Paper Wasp and the Chinese (or Asian) paper wasp. Such species are a conservation problem, because they predate on native insects. This means they also compete against insectivorous native birds. These wasps also consume nectar, and hence compete against birds like tuis and bellbirds.

Paper wasps build small paper nests or colonies in shrubs or trees.

The Australian Paper Wasp became established in the 1800s in NZ. It tends to be restricted to warmer, northern regions of NZ. It has a more characteristic red body.


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The Chinese (or Asian) Paper Wasp became established in 1979. It’s range has rapidly expanded. It is now reasonably common in the North Island, and has been recorded in the north of the South Island. It has a characteristic, thin, black-and-yellow appearance.

"On Guard"

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Needless to say, destroying the nests of these wasps should be a guilt-free experience.