German Wasp

The German Wasp (Vespula germanica) is an insect in the Vespidae family of social wasps. It is a vespid. It is also called the German Yellowjacket in America, although the Yellowjacket is in the Dolichovespula genus, whereas the German Wasp is in the Vespula genus. The German Wasp is related to the Common Wasp.

The German Wasp has a smooth black and yellow segmented body with smoky-coloured wings. The yellow stripes on its body have black marks that look like arrows. It has yellow spots on its thorax. Its legs, called tarsi, are yellow. Its antennae are long, thick, and black. Its head is black with a yellow-orange face. The female has a smooth barbless stinger that can repeatedly sting an animal.

German Wasp

It measures about 1-2 centimetres (half an inch) in length. 

It is found in Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia.

The German Wasp feeds on insects, fruit, and dead insects, such as dead bees.

It is found in large colonies of up to 6,000 individuals. In autumn, the new queen wasps will hibernate for winter, and the old queen wasps die, and the colony dies. A new colony is established in spring. 

The queen wasp starts making the nest, and the colony of wasps help her. They make a paper-like nest out of chewed plant fibres. Most of the nests are found in soil. The nest is in the shape of a large egg, about 50 centimetres (20 inches) long, with an entrance at one side. Its nest can house several thousand individuals.

The queen wasp has several mates, up to about seven. She is polyandrous. The queen wasp lays eggs in the combs, or cells, inside the nest. Worker wasps look after the eggs and the hatched young wasps.

German Wasp
German Wasp
German Wasp

Location of photographs: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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