In this paper I report first records for the invasive species, Polistes dominula (Christ), in Wyoming and western South Dakota, U.S.A. In addition, the early nesting success of this invasive species and the nest parameters in two native paper wasps, Polistes fuscatus (F.) and Mischocyttarus flavitarsis (de Saussure), are analyzed through a survey of nests, nesting locations, nest size and relative levels of parasitism in the northern Black Hills area and surrounding plains. Polistes dominula occurred predominantly in towns and at elevations below 4000 ft. Some collecting sites had high P. dominula population numbers, with heavy use of available nesting sites, water sources and other resources. This wasp attached its nests to horizontal, sloping and vertical surfaces and nested in unusual and exposed locations not observed in the native species. The distribution and successful nesting of M. flavitarsis was not impacted at this early stage of introduction, because it nests predominantly in forested areas at higher elevations. Polistes fuscatus nest numbers were lower than in previous years at collection sites. Their nests were more likely to be in an area with one or both of the other two species, and appeared at higher elevations in 2011 than previously found. While not found in M. flavitarsis nests, evidence of the ichneumon parasitoid, Pachysomoides fulvus, was found in 46% of P. fuscatus nests and 6% of P. dominula nests.
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