Quantification of color/color pattern in Polistes fuscatus (Fabricius) revealed that these attributes were the interaction of two antagonistic color sequences; their expression being highly correlated with nest microclimate (relative humidity-temperature). Color/ color pattern expressions were modified under experimental conditions to produce forms having natural counterparts in the field.
Principal coordinates analyses and trend surface analyses using specimens collected throughout the United States indicated three color pattern trends, representing three distinct geographic areas, and, when objectively defined, without intergradation between and/or among areas. It was concluded that fuscatus should not be considered a widespread, polytypic species; rather, as three discrete species: an eastern, P. fuscatus (Fabricius); a western, P. aurifer Saussure; and an undescribed "yellow form" from the southwestern United States.
MacLean, Bonnie K.; Chandler, Leland; and MacLean, David B.
"Phenotypic Expression in the Paper Wasp Polistes Fuscatus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae),"
The Great Lakes Entomologist, vol 11
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol11/iss2/6