Introduction Of European Wasp
The European wasp, also known as Vespula germanica, originally hails from Europe but has spread to various regions worldwide, such as Australia, New Zealand, and North America. This species of wasp is characterized by its aggressive behaviour, territorial nature, and potent sting that can cause pain. European wasps live communally in colonies, with a dominant queen and numerous workers who gather food to sustain the queen and the growing young.
- European wasps are relatively large insects, with an average length of about 12 to 17 millimetres.
- They are typically black and yellow in colour, with yellow and black stripes on their bodies and yellow markings on their heads.
- The body of a European wasp is slender and elongated, with a narrow waist and a distinct separation between the thorax and the abdomen.
- The antennae of European wasps are long and thin and are used for sensory perception and communication within the colony.
- European wasps have two pairs of wings that are membranous and transparent, which they use for flight.
- They have a stinger, which they use to defend their colony and subdue their prey. The stinger is located at the end of the abdomen and is only present in female wasps.
- European wasps have six legs that are long and slender, with strong claws that allow them to grasp onto surfaces.
- During the winter months, only the young queens are able to endure and come out in the spring to commence the construction of their nest and lay eggs.
- During early summer, worker wasps (infertile females) emerge and take charge of building the nest. Meanwhile, the queen persists in laying eggs.
- In the early autumn, new queens and males emerge, mate and the males eventually die. The nest, including all the males and workers, perishes during winter.
- It’s worth noting that European wasps do not form swarms.
- European wasps tend to build their nests in abandoned rodent burrows, hollow trees, and shrubs.
- They tend to look for sheltered areas with convenient access to the outside, such as attics, garages, and wall crevices.
- In terms of food preferences, they primarily hunt insects early in the season when their brood is young, but shift towards sweet foods later in the summer as their brood matures and the workers become more of a nuisance to humans.
- Female wasps are quick to sting and have the capability to sting multiple times.
- A single colony of European wasps can consist of up to 25,000 individual wasps.