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Common wasp - Vespula vulgaris - side view
Common wasp - Vespula vulgaris - side view

Common wasp
The common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) belongs to the genus wasps. It is a wasp from the family Vespidae and is one of the most widespread kinds of wasp in Western Europe. The common wasp is an annual and social insect.
Common wasp - portrait
Common wasp - portrait
Queens are up to 20 mm in length, drones 13 to 17 mm , and workers 11 to 14 mm. These wasps are black and yellow in colour and their markings vary hugely. At the neck shield, the common wasp has a wide black line that gets thicker on its end.
Vespula vulgaris
Vespula vulgaris
The common wasp nests both above and underground nest construction begins in spring. Often they exploit existing cavities which were previously used by other animals which they then expand considerably. Dark cavities in buildings are also often used for nesting.
A colony of common wasps usually comprises 3000 to 4000 animals although colonies of 10,000 wasps are not uncommon. As many as 50,000 common wasps have been found living in one colony (in New Zealand for example). Labour in the colony is organised. The intensity of brood care is similar to that of bees. While the adult wasps are vegetarian - feeding on nectar from plants and other sugary juices the larvae of Vespidae are fed on the protein rich meat of other insects.
The common wasp is found in almost every kind of landscape. In areas inhabited by humans, wasps are considered a nuisance in autumn time. The venom of the wasp may cause allergic reactions. When wasps sting hormones are released and this can encourage other wasps to sting. Due to this a large swarm of this kind of wasp poses a great danger to humans.

Vespula (Paravespula) vulgaris
Common namesCommon Wasp, European yellow jacket, English wasp, Common Yellowjacket
German namesGemeine Wespe, Gewöhnliche Wespe
Dutch namesGewone wesp
Danish namesAlmindelig Gedehams
Finnish namesYleinen ampiainen, Piha-ampiainen
Norwegian namesJordveps
Swedish namesVanlig geting
French namesGuêpe commune
AuthorCarl von Linné (Carl Nilsson Linnæus), 1758

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (South England (Southeast England (Kent, Surrey county), Greater London), English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire)), East England (Hertfordshire), North England (Northwest England (Cheshire))))), Ireland), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland), Baltic region (Baltic States (Estonia))), West Europe (Austria, France (South France (Corsica)), Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Liechtenstein), South Europe (Italy (North Italy, South Italy), Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal)), Central Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Greece, Yugoslavia (Croatia))
Far East (East Asia (Japan, Mongolia, Korea (South Korea))), Central Asia (Turkestan (Kazakhstan)), South Asia (Pakistan)
Australia (East Australia (Victoria))
New Zealand
North America
USA (Montana), Canada (Ontario), Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Caribbean islands (Antilles (Greater Antilles (Cuba)))
Southern Africa
Republic South Africa

Ecozones: Nearctic

Distribution by Synonymus:
Vespa vulgaris   Hungary, Republic South Africa
CountriesAustralia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesVespula vulgaris in
Vespula vulgaris in
Vespula vulgaris in
Vespula vulgaris in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Common wasp - Vespula vulgaris - side view
2. Common wasp - portrait
3. Vespula vulgaris
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Wasps, Yellowjackets, Hornets
Yellow jackets
Vespula vulgaris
Common Wasp, European yellow jacket, English wasp, Common Yellowjacket
AuthorLinnaeus, 1758
Paravespula vulgaris
Vespa alascensis
Vespa communis
Vespa communis de
Vespa mixta
Vespa pseudogermanica
Vespa sexcincta
Vespa vulgaris
Vespa westwoodi
Vespa westwoodii
Vespula vulgaris

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