Worcestershire Record No. 17 November 2004 p. 30


Harry Green

This large wasp arrived in England in the 1980s and is now quite widespread. It is a large wasp and rather dark in colour, some individuals are nearly black. The nest is suspended in a bush or small tree. The young nests have an extraordinary downward tube or spout which is diagnostic. As the nest grows this disappears and the nest is shaped roughly like an inverted pear. Because the nests hang in bushes they may be inadvertently disturbed by gardeners which naturally causes the wasps some irritation! In June this year a small nest found in a garden was brought to me, apparently inactive. While photographing it I heard noises within the nest so I left it in a container with ethyl acetate fumes for an hour or two then set it up vertically to photograph next day. Nest morning a large black worker was sitting on the nest having emerged in the night! The picture shows the appearance of the nest.

Early nest of Median Wasp showing tubular downward "spout". Maximum diameter of nest about 7 cm.

ELSE, G, 1994. Social Wasps British Wildlife 5:304-11. This paper contains a useful identification key but note figures 26 and 27 are reversed

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