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Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - Worker
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - Worker


Median wasp
The median wasp (Dolichovespula media) is a species in the family of Vespidae. It is widespread and common from Europe (southern Europe, mainly in the mountains) to East Asia. The queens reach body lengths of 18 - 22 mm, the workers 15 - 19 mm, and the drones 15 to 19 mm.
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media
The median wasp has a semicolon shaped marking on its face. Its eyes at their bulges are completely yellow. The queen has mostly reddish-brown markings on the pronotum. The abdomen is black with yellow stripes. On the female workers and the males the yellow stripes are very thin. The median wasp prefers orchards, forests and clear like that in human settlements. It feeds on nectar and pollen.
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - Side view
Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - Side view
The fertilized queens overwinter and appear again in the spring. In May, they start nesting, mostly in bushes, but also on rock faces or house walls. They do not nest in dark cavities. The nest is made from a paper-like material, mostly won made of poplar bark. The nest includes brood cells, where the eggs are stored and the larvae develop. The larvae are fed a meat pulp made of insects, preferable Diptera. When the first female workers have hatched, further construction of the nest, and the provision of food supplies for the larvae is their responsibility. A colony can accommodate as many as 200 wasps. The nest can grow to approximately the size of a football. In August additional males and young queens are bred. The young fertilized queens seek out winter hideouts, while all the other wasps die.
Median wasp eating
Median wasp eating
As the median wasp is very peaceful, one should not destroy its nest.
Dolichovespula media on a compost heap
Dolichovespula media on a compost heap


Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - Worker
2. Median wasp - Dolichovespula media
3. Median wasp - Dolichovespula media - Side view
4. Median wasp eating
5. Dolichovespula media on a compost heap
Keywords
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