A very widespread species though not usually reaching the abundance of species like Common and German Wasps. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, but especially areas with tall grassland, tall herb and scattered scrub.
Nesting occurs in various locations, but perhaps especially at the base of dense grass tussocks. This is a short-faced wasp, females usually with an anchor-like face marking (as in V. vulgaris). The abdominal markings are highly variable, but usually display some red patches on the first and second segments.
The long-faced Norwegian Wasp Dolichovespula norwegica is the only other social wasp with red markings on tergite 2, but these take a different form. But beware the Cuckoo Wasp Vespula austriaca (the social parasite of the Red Wasp) which can resemble the Red in general pattern, though it never has any red (though some rufa specimens with little red can look very similar to austriaca). The facial markings are very different, with austriaca usually having 3 small black spots rather then the anchor mark of rufa. V. austriaca also has long black hairs on the hind tibiae and the corners of the clypeus with more acute, pointed angles….BWARS