Lucy Corrander's picture


Observed: 2nd May 2012 By: Lucy CorranderLucy Corrander’s reputation in InvertebratesLucy Corrander’s reputation in InvertebratesLucy Corrander’s reputation in Invertebrates

Wasp resting in apple blossom. Lay there unmoving. After a while, it flew away. A bit unlikely anyone can say what kind of wasp it is from this picture but . . . ?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Red Mason Bee (Osmia (Osmia) rufa) interacts


Lucy Corrander's picture

Osmia Rufa

I think was a bit longer than Osmia Rufa - and would a mason bee not have a narrower waist? (Or maybe males and females look different?)

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Nature girl's picture

Wasp waists

As hachidori suggests, this is a female because of the horns on the head. They are quite a bit larger than the males, which fooled me as well the first time I came across them!

Waist-wise, it's usually wasps rather than bees that have the narrower waists. However, there are some bees with 'wasp waists' out to confuse us, like the cuckoo bees, Nomada.

Hope this helps,


Syrphus's picture

The fundamental difference

The fundamental difference between a wasp and a bee is that wasps are carnivorous as larvae, and bees vegan. Some wasps (the digger-wasps Sphecoidea) are more closely related to bees than to other wasps.

The basic diet of bees is pollen (protein) and nectar (water and CH2O). To collect and transport pollen, bees are generally very hairy. Wasps are much less hairy - that is the obvious difference between them in the field.

Some bees (the kleptoparasites, and Hylaeus, which carries pollen in the gut) do not need to carry pollen on their bodies, and are relatively hairless, and therefore wasp-like, and frequently posted as wasps on iSpot.

Conversely, other hairy insects (beeflies, hairy hoverflies) are, because of their hairiness, thought to be bees.

The waist-shape is sometimes a clue - none of our bees has the very long narrow petioled waists of, say Ammophila - but many wasps have waists that are much less obvious and many bees (a lot of Andrena) have obvious constrictions.



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Lucy Corrander's picture

Waists on Bees and Wasps

Thank you both, Nature Girl and Syrphus, for all the information you have added to this identification.

The reason I mentioned the waist was because of this observations

which was ID ed as an Osmia . . . and it's waist is extraordinarily narrow - so narrow it was hard to see how it could manage to fly around without falling in half!

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