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Vespula Thomson

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera; Superfamily: Vespoidea; Family: Vespidae; Subfamily: Vespinae)

Vespula Thomson,1869

Vespula germanica (Fabricius,1793)


Indigenous to the Palaearctic region. Introduced into South Africa in 1975, as well as many other parts of the world including Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, USA.


Social, constructing concealed communal paper nests often under the ground. Larvae are fed on chewed-up, soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars.


Haupt K, Addison P, Veldtman R. 2019. Fresh meat baits are currently the only available effective option to detect low-density Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) populations in South Africa. Austral Entomology 58: 783-791. https://doi.org/10.1111/aen.12393

Tribe, G.D. & Richardson, D.M. 1994. The European wasp, Vespula germanica (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in southern Africa and its potential distribution as predicted by ecoclimatic matching. African Entomology 2: 1-6.

van Noort, S. & Picker, M. 2011. Wasps, Bees, Ants. Class Insecta, Order Hymenoptera. Pp 140-146. In:  Picker, M. & Griffiths, C. (eds.) Alien & Invasive Animals. A South African perspective. Struik Nature.

van Zyl C, Addison P, Veldtman R. 2018. The invasive Vespidae in South Africa: potential management strategies and current status. African Entomology 26: 267-285. http://dx.doi.org/10.4001/003.026.0267

Whitehead, V.B. & Prins, A.J. 1975. The European wasp, Vespula germanica (F.), in the Cape Peninsula. Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 38: 3942.


Photographs Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2023. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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