Story: Wasps and bees

German wasp and common wasp

German wasp and common wasp

These two species were accidentally introduced to New Zealand. Both are yellow with black markings. The German wasp (left) has black bands with separate black dots, whereas the common wasp (right) has broader black bands that merge with dots. Queens are larger than workers, but have similar markings. Both have painful stings, but common wasps are much more aggressive than German wasps. They eat high-sugar foods, and for protein they prey on invertebrates and even young chicks.

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Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: n0082smp.tif (left); DSCG9230Smd.jpg (right)
Photographs by Peter E. Smith

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How to cite this page:

John Early, 'Wasps and bees - Stinging wasps', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 July 2022)

Story by John Early, published 24 Sep 2007