Australian Hornet

Scientific Name: Abispa ephippium

Other Common Names: Potter Wasp, Mason Wasp, Yellow Potter Wasp, Euminid Wasp

Species documented in 1775 by Fabricius.

Description

The head, legs and antenna are orange. They are coloured with bands of black against their bright yellow-orange body. They grow to a length of up to 30mm.


Reproduction/Lifecycle

Males exhibit scramble- competition for mates, they patrol stream banks to capture female wasps who are preoccupied drinking water for example. Once mated, the male wasp will fly away and search for another female.

The female hornet or potter wasp will lay an egg inside the pot nests. Caterpillars are paralised by their sting, and stored in the nests for the larvae. The larvae pupate in the nest and emerge as a fully developed wasp.

Habitat

A pot shape nest is built from mud.

Diet

Adult hornets feed from the nectar of flowers and caterpillars. The larvae are fed caterpillars captured by adult hornets.

Miscellaneous



Found in:

NSW,NT,QLD,WA,


References/Bibliography:

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2007. Australian Faunal Directory, Australian Government. Available from <http://www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/abrs/fauna/details.pl? pstrVol=VESPOIDEA;pstrTaxa=10;pstrChecklistMode=2> [Accessed 19th January 2007]

Smith, A. P., and Alcock, J. (1980). A comparative study of the mating systems of Australian eumenid wasps (Hymenoptera). Z. Tierpsychol. 53: 41-60.