Scientific Name: Vespa crabro (Vespidae).
English Name: European Hornet (Social wasps family).
French Name: Le Frélon.
5 Key Characters:
- easily the largest wasp occuring in this area (18 - 35 mm long).
- chestnut brown and golden yellow with reddish tinted wings.
- females have a sting (but generally only aggressive if threatened).
- carnivorous, eating other large insects.
- very attracted to fruit such as apples and pears, which they will eat on the tree or as windfalls.
Lookalikes: Queens of the other social wasps (Vespula spp, Dolichovespula spp), which are smaller and black and yellow. Yellow-legged Asian Hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax, which is smaller and much darker.
Habitat: Nests in hollow trees, wall cavities, chimneys.
Flight Period: Adults are active from early spring to late summer.
Status: Population fluctuates from year to year.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
|Fighting over a windfall pear (probably a Greenbottle Lucilia sp to the right, on the pear).|
|Fighting over a windfall pear (probably a Greenbottle Lucilia sp above, on the pear).|
|Fighting over a windfall pear (probably a Greenbottle Lucilia sp to the left, on the pear).|