Tag Archives: Wasps

Wasps !

Don’t be alarmed but I am becoming very interested in social wasps.

They are beautiful and distinctive but I am not finding them overly easy to identify. Part of the problem is that two individuals of the same species can have quite different markings.

I think that the animal in the header picture is a Tree Wasp, Dolichovespula sylvestris but I am struggling to get positive confirmation of that so either it isn’t or my pictures don’t carry enough detail. I think that there is only one way to learn and that is to keep at it so expect more wasps on this blog.

Here is one that I can Identify. This is a Common Wasp, Vespula vulgaris. Wasps have distinctive patterns on their faces and this one is often referred to as an “Anchor mark”

Common Wasp

Common WaspGenerally identification is a matter of looking at the markings on the face and those on the thorax. The stripes on the abdomen seem to vary a lot even within the same species.

Common Wasp

Common WaspThe Common Wasp is a Vespula Wasp they have short round faces. This next one is a Dolichovespula Wasp sometime referred to as long faced Wasps.

This is a Saxon Wasp, Dolichovespula saxonica.

Saxon Wasp

Saxon Wasp

Saxon Wasp

Saxon WaspI realise that to most people it is enough to be able to recognise that it is a wasp. Eeek! If it stings you who cares what species it is? I need to learn from the animals that I photograph, that is the only reason that I take pictures so I need to know the species.

I would love to tell you that Wasps don’t sting. In fifteen years of crawling around in the bushes photographing flowers and insects I have never been stung by a Bee or a Wasp. I know that I am just lucky but I really don’t think that they are as bad as they are made out.

These animals are just going about their business and if you don’t bother them they don’t really bother you. Horse Flies and Mosquito’s are another matter, they hunt us and quite deliberately attack us but Bees and Wasps are okay in my book.

I am a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get a positive ID on my Tree Wasp but okay I am just going to go out and photograph another one and try again.

Tree Wasp