Common wasp (Vespula spp. European)
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Superfamily: Vespoidea
- Family: Vespidae
- Specie: 4 in Europe
- Common name: European wasp, German wasp, Common wasp
Morphology: body covered with small short hairs, 11 mm to 19 mm in length. Square abdomen in the front and tip at the rear.
Coloration: yellow and black.
Habitat: in all dry and moderately humid soils, both in the plain and in the mountains.
Flight season: from April to October.
Nest: usually located in natural underground cavities (abandoned burrows of small mammals), sometimes in isolated places in old buildings. Cells are of hexagonal shape disposed in multiple circular overlapped honeycombs and protected by a spheroidal envelope.
Dimensions of colonies: up to 7.000 adult individuals in August-September.
Behaviour: it is a social species, is the only kind of wasps that really bothers the man. The females, the only ones with sting, are rather aggressive, both close to and away from the nest. In high summer, when the colonies reach the maximum size, the workers do not just hunt insects but are attracted mainly by various types of food (meat, fish, sweets) and enter inevitably in competition with the man, reacting aggressively to attempts to drive them away.