Name: Common Wasp
Scientific name: Vespula vulgaris
Nature Stars: 30
About: A familiar insect of British summers, the black and yellow wasp is a frequent visitor to gardens, even building their large nests in cavities in houses. The Common Wasp lives in large colonies, with the nest built out of 'paper' formed by chewing up wood. Females grow up to 3cm long. They are predators, feeding on a wide variety of invertebrates, as well as scavenging for sugary things around picnics!
How to identify: There are several related species of social wasp in Britain, which can only be told by looking very closely at their face pattern, not something many of us want to do!
Fantastic fact: The related Median Wasp is a recent colonist from Europe, larger but building small hanging nests in trees and bushes.
Photograph credit: Common Wasp