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Wasp species: These wasps are at home with us
Wasp species: These wasps are at home with us

Video: Wasp species: These wasps are at home with us

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Top 13 Types Of WASPS to Look Out For This Summer! 2023, January
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In summer, many wasps buzz through our gardens, snacking on meat at the barbecue or sipping apple juice. We quickly panic out of sheer fear - for no reason! Out of several hundred native wasp species, only two become intrusive. Here we explain the lifestyle of these insects, the ways in which you meet in Germany and how you can differentiate them.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Wasp Species: These wasps are at home with us

  • Wasps form states
  • How many types of social wasp are there in Germany?
  • Real wasps
  • Field wasps
  • What are cuckoo wasps?
  • How dangerous are domestic wasps to humans?

Table of Contents Table of Contents Wasp Species: These wasps are at home with us

  • Wasps form states
  • How many types of social wasp are there in Germany?
  • Real wasps
  • Field wasps
  • What are cuckoo wasps?
  • How dangerous are domestic wasps to humans?

For laypersons, the more than 600 wasp species in Germany almost all look the same: their yellow-black stripes and their buzz are the ultimate warning and warning signal. The majority of them live solitary, i.e. the female raises her offspring alone. Since we mostly only come across social wasp species in this country, it makes sense to take a closer look at them.

Wasps form states

All social wasps live in their people for about a year, they come together in summer states. The queen makes the start in spring after her winter hibernation (diapause) by building a nest from collected wood and saliva and placing an egg in each honeycomb cell. When four weeks have passed, the workers hatch. These females continue to expand the nest, the queen then only lays eggs. The cycle changes in summer: in larger cells, young queens grow from fertilized eggs and males (so-called drones) from unfertilized eggs. After the mating, only the young queens go into hibernation. The old queen, the drones and the people die out in autumn.

How many types of social wasp are there in Germany?

There are a total of 17 social wasp species (Vespidae) in Germany: among them the family of the real wasps (Vespinae) and that of the field wasps (Polistinae). They differ in their size, color, anatomy, lifestyle and their nests.

The real wasp subfamily

Short-headed wasps

(Vespula)

German wasp (Vespula germanica)

Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Red wasp (Vespula rufa)

Long-headed wasps

(Dolichovespula)

Medium wasp (Dolichovespula media)

Saxon Wasp (Dolichovespula saxonica)

Forest wasp (Dolichovespula sylvestris)

Norwegian wasp (Dolichovespula norwegica)

Hornets

(Vespa)

Hornet (Vespa crabro)

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

Real wasps

The subfamily of the real wasps includes three domestic genera:

1.Short-headed wasp (Vespula)

Short-headed wasps come in three types (German wasp, red wasp, common wasp). The name comes from the short span between the eyes and the mouth tool. The common and German wasp are widespread among the short-headed wasps. They are the only types of wasps that get in the way of humans.

Gemeine Wespe
Gemeine Wespe

The common wasp is characterized by a black line on the yellow forehead.

Photo: iStock / Paul_Cooper

The common wasp is most common in Germany. You can recognize the flying animal by the black longitudinal line on the yellow forehead, which thickens towards the bottom - similar to the letter "T" upside down. The males are between 13 and 17 millimeters in size, the females 10 to 14 millimeters, their queen even 16 to 20 millimeters.

Deutsche Wespe
Deutsche Wespe

The German wasp has three black dots on its yellow forehead.

Photo: iStock / Ian_Redding

Her relative, the Deutsche Wespe, is also strongly represented with us. It stands out from the other wasps in its family by three black dots on its yellow forehead. Also characteristic is the diamond mark, the first “streak” of the abdomen. With regard to its size, it hardly differs from the common wasp (males: 13–17 millimeters, workers: 11–16 millimeters, queen: up to 21 millimeters).

Whether above or below ground: it is important to the short-headed wasps that their nest is in dark places, for example in attics or in roller shutter boxes. Your brown home has a shell look and houses up to 10, 000 conspecifics: They are not only very large races, but also live remarkably long. With plenty of warmth, some nests last until November.

The common and German wasp are to blame for the poor image of all domestic wasp species: both have an extensive preference for sweet dishes and meat. For this reason, they can become a nuisance for people from mid-August.

Wespennest
Wespennest

The common wasp's nest is beige and includes air pockets at the bottom.

Photo: iStock / Emeryk Drozdowski

2. Long-headed wasp (Dolichovespula)

Long-headed wasps are represented in four subspecies (Saxon wasp, forest wasp, Norwegian wasp, medium wasp) in Germany. As its name suggests, the head of this genus is longer than the short-headed wasps. Accordingly, they have pronounced "cheeks" between the eyes and the mouth tool.

Waldwespe
Waldwespe

The forest wasp from the long-headed wasp family has a long distance between the edge of the eye and the upper jaw.

Photo: iStock / Ian_Redding

The colonies of long-headed wasps reproduce very quickly, but often die out from mid-August. For example, the forest wasp population consists of a maximum of 800 animals, much smaller than that of the short-headed wasp. Most of the gray, conical nests with light and dark stripes can be found hanging freely in the attic. Only the rare medium-sized wasp creates its home hanging freely in bushes or on buildings.

The long-headed wasps use their natural food (tree, plant and fruit juices, nectar from flowers) to eat, so they stay away from us.

Wespennest
Wespennest

The forest wasp's nest is gray and smooth.

Photo: iStock / AnnaBreit

3. Hornets (Vespa)

Vespa crabro, the largest domestic wasp, occurs mainly in Germany. Finally, the queen reaches a size of up to 35 millimeters, females and males between 18 and 28 millimeters. You can also recognize the animals by the deep hum, their red-brown head and dark-brown chest piece.

Hornisse
Hornisse

Hornets look like oversized wasps.

Photo: iStock / Anest

Hornets prefer to nest in tree hollows, but also in roller shutter boxes or wall cladding. Their brownish nests have a shell-like character. Their colonies are relatively small and contain between 100 and 700 insects. Hornets are very shy, they do not come near us for foraging.

In addition to natural resources such as fruit juices or flower nectar, they have an appetite for insects: whether houseflies or fruit flies, they naturally destroy annoying pests.

Hornissen-Nest
Hornissen-Nest

The hornet's nest is shaped like a shell and has many air pockets.

Photo: iStock / weisschr

Field wasps

The subfamily of field wasps includes four species (house wasp, heath field wasp, dainty field wasp, mountain field wasp). They are mainly found in southern Germany.

Field wasps

(Polistes)

House wasp (Polistes dominula)

Heather field wasp (Polistes nimpha)

Petite field wasp (Polistes bischoffi)

Mountain field wasp (Polistes biglumis)

At first glance, the field wasps resemble the real wasps, among other things because of their dimensions (female: 12–15 millimeters, males: 12–16 millimeters, queen: 13–18 millimeters). However, if you take a closer look at this type of insect, you will see a drop-like abdomen. In addition, this type of wasp is defined by the legs hanging downwards in flight.

Haus-Feldwespe
Haus-Feldwespe

The distinguishing feature of the house wasp is a drop-like abdomen.

Photo: iStock / Musat

Wasps also distinguish themselves by their small nests without an outer shell: the genus loves warm places and prefers to nest in the sun, for example on roof tiles. Only ten to 30 wasps form a population.

Feldwespen
Feldwespen

Wasps nest in warm places, only above ground.

Photo: iStock / Ornitolog82

What are cuckoo wasps?

So-called cuckoo wasps exist for most types of fold wasps (see table). They live parasitically. This means that their queens do not feed their own workers, instead they attack other nests. There they kill the queen and claim her nest and workers.

Short-headed wasp

(Vespula)

Austrian cuckoo wasp

(Vespula austriaca)

Long-headed wasp

(Dolichovespula)

False cuckoo wasp

(Dolichovespula adulterina)

Field wasp

(Polistes)

Mountain Field Wasp Cuckoo Wasp

(Polistes atrimandibularis)

How dangerous are domestic wasps to humans?

Wasps don't care about people. As long as they are left alone, all species are peaceful. The yellow and black striped animals only romp in our gardens because they are looking for food. Even if the little buzzers get annoying, don't panic! Do not wave your hands wildly to drive the wasps. The more insects feel threatened, the more they prick. And wasps do not die after a bite, as is the case with bees, for example. Fear, shock and stings only attract more members of the same species. Wasp stings are painful, but generally do not pose a danger to us. The situation is different for allergy sufferers who should see a doctor immediately in the event of a sting.

In order to protect yourself against wasp attacks, you should not keep any attractive food open on the table and always stay ten meters away from wasp nests. If you don't stick to it, you can expect an attack flight.

You must never kill the wasps! Just like bees and bumblebees, they are protected. You are also not allowed to remove a wasp nest. The nature conservation authority is responsible for this: only specialists carry out a resettlement.

Wespe
Wespe

Wasps only prick when they feel endangered. Always keep calm near you!

Photo: iStock / Nataba

Wasp species are important for our environment

Wasps provide their offspring with protein-rich food. To do this, they hunt for flies, spiders, caterpillars and aphids - pests that are economically defeated by chemical means. Foresters in particular appreciate wasps because they eat tree pests.

They are also pollinators of nature like bees and bumblebees - whether fruit trees, swamp root, thyme or ivy. In this sense, the many types of wasp contribute to the continued existence of nature and, for example, to an abundant fruit harvest.

Wespe
Wespe

Wasps also pollinate numerous flowers.

Photo: iStock / ziss

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