Well, to kick off the run-down to Walsall Wasp Awareness Day, I’ll start proceedings with an unusual, but easily recognised wasp: the ‘Median Wasp’!
The Median Wasp, (Dolichovespula media) is our second largest social wasp (after the hornet) and was new to the UK in 1980, and was at first a southern species in the British Isles, but has steadily been moving north and can even be found in some parts of Scotland now. It is one of the species I mentioned in a previous blog post, that is non-native, but also not invasive, and does not appear to have any detrimental effect on our native wildlife.
The queens look a bit like small hornets, with flashes of orange on the shoulders, and the workers look like ‘normal’ wasps, but they can vary in the black-yellow ratio so that some specimens are almost completely black! But all of them – you will love this – have a yellow Nike logo (a tick!) on their shoulders! Can you see it in the photo above? 🙂
I’ve recorded this species twice in Walsall so far – at Merrions Wood and at Rough Wood.
I’m putting a different wasp species in the spotlight every day this week, so stay tuned, and follow #WaspWatch for fascinating waspy facts and tips on how to avoid being stung!