Red Wasp (Polistes rubiginosus)
(Polistinae - Paper Wasps)
Polistes wasps make their livelihood by hunting caterpillars in grass and other low vegetation. This one caught and immediately dispatched one before my eyes. There are two extremely similar species of Red Wasp - Polistes carolina and Polistes rubiginosus (formerly perplexus). There is a habitat difference - P. carolina is more common in open areas and usually nests under eaves of roofs, while P. rubiginosus more commonly nests in hollow tree trunks. I'm guessing this one is P. rubiginosus based on the habitat, in a natural area far from any roofs.