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Wasps (Vespinae)
Wasps (Vespinae) (Pictures of wasps)


Vespinae (Vespinae)
Vespinae are a subfamily of the family Vespidae. There are 61 species worldwide, 11 species of which can be found in Central Europe. Some examples of species found in Central Europe are: the hornet (Vespa crabro), Dolichovespula sylvestris, Dolichovespula omissa, Vespula rufa, the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the German wasp (Vespula germanica).
Wasp
Wasp (Pictures of wasps)
Vespinae, with the exception of hornets, belong to the colony building Paper wasps (Polistinae), another category of Vespidae which are often difficult to distinguish. Vespinae are larger than the other Vespidae, the body being broader which is the decisive criterion for differentiation.
Red legged Pimpla instigator
Red legged Pimpla instigator (Pictures of wasps)
Common to all wasps is the black-and-yellow warning colour of the body. The Vespinae live in states or parasitically as so called cuckoo wasps. Adult Vespinae mainly feed on small parts of dead or living animals, from insects, pollen, plant juices and from nectars. Their larvae are mainly fed on animal meat.
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - European Wasp
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - European Wasp (Pictures of wasps)
Vespinae living in colonies build nests in dark caves, trees, hedges or attics. A single state with a queen, workers and drones can comprise up to 7000 insects. Labour is organised - the Queen only lays eggs while the workers are responsible for nest building, nest cleaning, food procurement and feeding the larvae, and the drones are responsible for the fertilization of young queens. To avoid inbreeding, some drones leave the nest and look for females from other populations.
Red Vespinae on cactus (Lanzarote)
Red Vespinae on cactus (Lanzarote) (Pictures of wasps)
While the old queens usually die in the autumn the young fertilized queens seek safe homes. With the cold of coming winter huge numbers of worker wasps die from starvation and as a result many colony wasps become solitary. In spring new colonies emerge from the overwintering young queens.
German Wasps
German Wasps (Pictures of wasps)
Wasps have a smooth sting which they use to inject crippling substances into their prey and to defend themselves (even by spraying poison) and this sting can be used again and again. The Honey Buzzard and the Ichneumon wasp are natural enemies of Vespinae.
For humans the German wasp and the common wasp are especially problematic because these live in the most populated colonies. Wasp stings can cause? allergic reactions, often in conjunction with severe itching or pain. The greater danger is from bacteria, such as salmonella, which the wasp carries on its sting and can thus be transmitted to the person who is stung.


Further chapters of "Wasps"
- Saxon Wasp
- German wasp
- Common wasp
- Gasteruptiidae
  - Gasteruption jaculator
- Spider wasps
- Common Sawflies
  - Eutomostethus ephippium
  - Pear Sawfly
  - Rhogogaster viridis
  - Tenthredo campestris
- median wasp
- European paper wasp
- sphecoid wasps
  - Red-banded Sand Wasp
  - Field Digger Wasp
  - Bee Wolf
- Ichneumon wasps
  - Black slip wasp
  - Amblyteles armatorius
- Gall wasps
- Velvet ants
- Vespidae
  - European hornet
- Braconids
- Scoliid wasps
  - Mammoth wasp
- Cuckoo wasps
  - Rubytail wasp
- Cerceris
  - Cerceris quadrifasciata
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Wasps (Vespinae)
2. Wasp
3. Red legged Pimpla instigator
4. Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - European Wasp
5. Red Vespinae on cactus (Lanzarote)
6. German Wasps
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