Saxon Wasp (Dolichovespula saxonica)


A new wasp to add to the list seen in the garden the Saxon wasp.

A recent colonist that was first recorded in Britain from Surrey in 1987, since when it has become well established over much of Britain.

This is a highly variable species, particularly in respect of abdominal and facial markings. Darker specimens can rather resemble D. norwegica, but never have red markings at the sides of tergite 2, and the hairs on the sides of the thorax are pale. Other specimens (especially females) can rather resemble Vespula vulgaris, though the much longer face never has the characteristic anchor mark of that species.

Nests can be suspended from twigs in bushes and trees or located in cavities of various sorts. The males are usually seen on the flowers of umbellifers, brambles and thistles in late summer. Spring queens are particularly attracted by sallow catkins and Bilberry flowers.