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Omalus auratus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Omalus auratus
  • Cambridge, garden, 13 Jun 2001, on pear tree.

  • Family Chrysididae (ruby-tailed wasps)

  • A common species, specialising in parasitising hymenoptera that nest in dry, pithy stems (eg Bramble - Rubus sp..)

  • Tiny, only about 4mm long (excluding antennae)

Sapyga quinquepunctata (Fabricius, 1781)

Sapyga quinquepunctata
  • Cambridge, garden, 24 May 2003

  • Family Sapygidae

  • Male - females have red abdomen

  • Larva is a parasitoid in nests of Osmia and other bees where it consumes eggs, larvae and stored food.

  • Seems to be fond of basking on a garden chair!

Ancistrocerus trifasciatus (Mueller,1776)

Ancistrocerus trifasciatus
  • Upper photo: Cambridge, garden, 26 Jul 2003
  • Tentative identification - there are several similar Ancistrocerus species. A. trifasciatus is widespread.
  • A mason wasp - sub-family Eumeninae was formerly considered a full family Eumenidae
Ancistrocerus gazella
  • Lower photo: Cambridge, garden, 9 Sep 2000 The grub will be used to feed its larvae.
  • On a rose bush: stunning a grub it had plucked out of a Buddleja seed head.
  • This is probably not the same species - the shape of the first yellow band suggests A. gazella (Panzer).

Median Wasp Dolichovespula media (Retzius, 1783)

Dolichovespula media
  • Cambridge, garden, 27 Apr 2002
  • This was originally a species of the European mainland and was not recorded in Britain until 1980. Since then it has spread rapidly and is now established throughout England.
  • Dolichovespula spp. have longer faces than Vespula and this species has yellow ocular sinuses and a generally reddish tinge. The amount of yellow on the abdomen varies.

Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Vespula vulgaris
  • Cambridge, garden, 29 Oct 2000
  • Warming up in the sun on a trellis, on a chilly autumn morning
  • Size: 13mm long
  • The anchor-shaped face marking distinguishes this from V. germanica which has similar abdominal markings but 3 separate black dots on the face.
  • A hunter, often seen patrolling late into the evening in search of prey.
  • Paravespula vulgaris in older references.

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