Allie Stewart's picture


Observed: 19th July 2011 By: Allie StewartAllie Stewart’s reputation in InvertebratesAllie Stewart’s reputation in Invertebrates

This is wasp resting on its nest which is at the base of a fir type plant in the garden. The nest is at ground level and is constructed between the lower branches and they hold it in place. There are hundreds of wasps and they have been very aggressive, swarming out and attacking anyone gets too close. To me (as a rank amateur) the body doesn't look long enough (also seems smaller in size) to be a common wasp - I would really like to know what type of wasp it is.


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Allie Stewart's picture

Possible ID? Red Wasp

I have found a picture of a very similar wasp at could it be a Red Wasp Vespula rufa?

Observer: "One of the wonders of nature"
Reply: "Wonder what it is?"

norwegica's picture


Can't be ruled out. As I said below, more images of others from the nest would be needed particularly of face and side of head.

norwegica's picture

Additional photos

You need photos of the face to get anywhere with this one. The (unreliable for id) abdominal markings are not typical and appear reduced. There is a possibility they could be Dolichovespula saxonica but if so they'd be well north of their current range. If there are any feeding on flowers nearby try photographing them or even catch one in a glass or similar for a photo (in this case I'd even be willing to receive specimens to check id). With this one using the nest colour as a clue to id could be misleading as it appears to be constructed using stained wood. Though this in itself along with an exposed nest may point to Dolichovespula.

sandford17's picture

Vespula rufa?

This is a poser! To me, the envelope structure is not characteristic of Dolichovespula which tend have larger, more regular layers rather than the scales seen here. I know the abdominal markings are unreliable but all things considered I would still plump for V.rufa which I had nesting in an exposed location in my back garden many years ago. Fascinated to know what he outcome is!

pjt347's picture

Looking through my limited

Looking through my limited books on insects this looks to me to be a German Wasp. Vespula germanica.


leenestofvipers's picture

Rufa or saxonica

If it wasn't for the area you are in I would go for Saxonica. Would love to know the outcome.