European Wasp
S3, Worker: dorsal
Adelaide Hills
European Wasp
S3, Worker: profile
 
    
European Wasp (Vespula germanica)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Potter Wasp (Wasp: Vespidae)
Species: European Wasp (Vespula germanica)
This Photo:     S1: dorsal
Other name: Yellowjacket

General Species Information:
Found in the Adelaide Hills and possibly elsewhere
There are two very similar introduced wasps in South Australia. This one & the English Wasp (Vespula vulgaris). You probably couldn't tell the difference between them with the naked eye. But with photo's the difference becomes evident. This one has a solid yellow band behind the eye; V. vulgaris has a black patch in the band behind the eye. This one has a thin vertical black line on the face with a black dot either side in the yellow; V. vulgaris has a fat vertical black line on the face with no dots.
The queen looks the same as the worker, with the only reliable differentiation being size. The queen ~20mm long; while the worker is ~14mm long.
The big surprise for us after photographing one was realising how hairy they are. The look very smooth and hairless with the naked eye.
They are one of the most aggressive wasps in Australia; attacking just because you are too close to YOUR picnic lunch. Probably second only to the European Honeybee.

Copyright © 2011- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 25-Dec-2011
This species is classed as If (Foreign Introduction)