Polistes (Paper Wasps), Red Bird of Paradise Identification Mat
Half of profits are donated to bee conservancies.
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Identification Mats feature BeeStill images of wasps, honey bees, native bees, flies, butterflies, butterflies, pollinators and seasons of flowers and plants that are identified by common and scientific names. The two-sided 8.5 x 11 archival mats are sturdily laminated with the vertical side featuring nine images and the horizontal side featuring twelve images.
"Polistes" means city builder, and these social insects build paper nests of hexagon-shaped cells. Polistes wasps have complex and vital social relationships. Their complex and vital relationships also extend to plants and, particularly in our Sonoran desert region, to plants in the Fabaceae family (known for peas and legumes). In Dominican amber, which may be the fossilized resin of ancient legume trees, scientists have discovered million-year old wasp fossils; wasps, it seems, have an ancient affinity for these legume plant species. The Sonoran desert is home to 53 legume species, including Palo Verde, Fairy Duster and the Red Bird of Paradise featured on these learning mats. Scaling the Red Bird of Paradise branches, Polistes (and other wasp species and pollinators) feed upon extra floral nectar.