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Common Wasp

Common Wasp
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-22
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, Raynox DCR 150 macro lens
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-04-23 11:12
Viewed: 4156
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All,

I've finally got a Macro Lens so here is one on my first shots, a bit risky as I'm allergic to all insect bites, so after this I was running up the Garden with this guy chasing me! I think its a Common Wasp if I'm wrong maybe someone can let me know. Thanks for veiwing.

The Common Wasp

The common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) is a wasp found in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and introduced to Australia and New Zealand. It is a eusocial vespid, which builds its grey paper nest underground, often using an abandoned mammal hole as a start for the site, which is then enlarged by the workers. The foundress queen may also select a hollow tree, wall cavity, or rock crevice for a nest site.


The common wasp, Vespula vulgaris, is 17-20 mm long, and has typical wasp colours of black and yellow. It is very similar to the German wasp, but seen head on, its face lacks the three black dots characteristic of that species. It can also be distinguished by a lack of black dots on its back; these are located further up and form part of the black rings on each of the abdomen's six segments. The Ash Borer (a moth) mimics the common wasp's aposematic colouration.

Wasps are colloquially known as "jaspers" in southern England and the English Midlands, although it is not clear whether the etymology refers to the Latin name "vespa" or the striped abdomen, which echoes the striped mineral jasper.

Nest and life cycle

Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris), Queen returning to nestThe nest is made from chewed wood fibres, mixed with saliva. It has open cells and a petiole attaching the nest to the substrate. The wasps produce a chemical which repels ants and secrete it around the base of this petiole in order to avoid ant predation.

A solitary female queen starts the nest, building 20-30 cells before initial egg-laying. This phase begins in spring, depending on climatic conditions. She fashions a petiole and produce a single cell at the end of it. Six further cells are then added around this to produce the characteristic hexagonal shape of the nest cells. The spherical nest is built up from layers of cells.

Once the larvae have hatched as workers, they take up most of the colony’s foraging, brood care and nest maintenance. A finished nest may contain 5,000–10,000 individuals.

Each wasp colony includes one queen and a number of sterile workers. Colonies usually last only one year, all but the queen dying at the onset of winter. However, in the mild climate of New Zealand and Australia, a few of the colonies survive the winter, although this is much more common with the German wasp. New queens and males (drones) are produced towards the end of the summer, and after mating, the queen overwinters in a hole or other sheltered location, sometimes indoors.

Wasp nests are not reused from one year to the next.

This common and widespread wasp collects insects including caterpillars to feed to its larvae. The adults feed on nectar and sweet fruit. Common wasps will also attempt to invade honey bee nests to steal their honey; the bees attempt to defend their nest by stinging the wasp to death.

Common wasp nests are subject to predation by the Honey Buzzard, which excavates them to obtain the larva. As the wasps have a tendency to build nests near houses, they are not necessarily defensive of their hive and can still be approached and watched without immediate attack.
The Hoverfly Volucella pellucens and some of its relatives lay their eggs in a wasp nest and their larvae feed on the wasps’ young and dead adults. Spiders are yet another predator of the species.

Notes from Wilkipedia.com

Cropped and resized
Added a Border

nglen, gracious, Royaldevon, Dis. Ac., ramthakur, Miss_Piggy, gannu, SkyF, haraprasan, hester, eqshannon, marhowie, Argus, SelenE, Amadeo, Adanac, tuslaw, inked, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Hil
You have made a great purchase in your Raynox Macro lense and the results are here!!
Stunningly sharp details with really good light illuminating the wasp..(Im not sure if he is common or not)
You be carefull chasing these little fellas about as they arent choosy as to who they sting!!
The only downside if Im honest is the frame..Its to green and clashes with the leaves..That is just my opinion though!!
All the Best

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-04-23 11:37]

Hi Hilary. A very good start with your new lens. You have captured good detail and colours. a nice POV showing all the markings so well. TFS.

Hello Hilary,
Nice composition with a beautiful framing here!
the image is so sharp with vivid colour and superb details in the shot!
a good macro presentation indeed

Hello Hilary,

I can just imagine you fleeing up the path with this in close pursuit!
It is a great macro, full of details and vibrant, eye-catching colours. Lovely composition!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-23 14:58]

Hi Hil,
very nice macro of this wasp.
Definately either a Common wasp or German wasp... they're very similar.
Sharp and crisp with great detail.
Well done!


Hello Hilary,

good of sharpness and composition.
Beautiful colors with lots of details.


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-23 23:32]

Hi Hilary,
Wonderful macro shot with such bright colours and sharp details. The warm lighting gives perfect illumination and I like the green leaves as BG. Nice pose captured here with a well chosen POV. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

Congratulations on acquiring your first macro lens, Hilary!
Also congratulations for using it like a professional in your first macro with it!
Great macro shot with faultless focus, vivid details and rich colours on the subject which, no doubt, is a Wasp.
However, I cannot tell its sub-classification.
Well done and looking forward to many more stunners like this one with your powerful lens.

Hallo Hillary
Excellent photography. Every feature of this wasp is just great. This image is very sharp and reflects great detail and focus. I think this image deserves each smiley awarded. You have captured this wasp with great clarity. The fine hairs and markings is impressive. Your framework is splendidly done and your display is excellently handled. The greenery it is sitting on highlights the colour of this wasp even more. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-04-24 2:03]

hello Hilary
wonderful macro photo
i like composition, POV, light, colours, sharpness and pp working

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-04-24 4:12]

Hello Hillary,
Nice and excellent view. Good sharpness and great focus. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-04-24 4:28]

Hello Hilary,
a wonderful composition, full of wonderful colors.
Very nice macro work with good sharpness and nice focus on your main character.
Love the vibrant colors and presentation.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-04-25 10:13]

Hi Hilary
this is a exellent macro study
very naturel color and sharp

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-25 21:54]

Hello Hil

I like how you composed the shot with the leaf diagonally in the frame.
Sharp focus and details.
The lighting is lovely with well saturated colours.


Hi Hilary,
A nice capture of this common wasp. Though it is not common for me. Excellent sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-04-27 5:32]

Hi Hilary

We don't often see an insect from you. This is a lovely close up view of a wasp. Sharp, detailed and excellent POV. I love the bold colours and he composition.

I still don't like wasps..not matter how attractive you make them



Ouch...I come to see your gallery again...and I see swelling in my arm and pain as well as itching...good thing you are a fine photographer so I do not have to run quickly away from this one...Very sharp, clear and super notations...but believe me..I already know the venom...oh boy! Thanks Hil!

Hi Hil,
This is an excellent macro shot, nice work.
Very good color, exposure, details, DOF, and an interesting POV/COMP.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-04-28 6:58]

Hello Hil,
Superb macro, especially as it is a new venture into macro photography, of a queen Common Wasp. You have achieved fine sharpness, good DOF and contrasting leafy BG and set it in a great composition.
I'm allergic to bee stings but now know that neither bees nor wasps sting if they are not bothered by waving arms!
Thanks for sharing this beauty and I look forward to seeing more macros from you.
Best wishes,
Thanks for shariing

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-04-28 9:33]

Hi Hil.
Fantastic close-up. All is perfect. Pictured scene, farming, composition and presentation of the picture are simply outstanding. I like wonderful crisp sharp image of the cute wasp and fine leaves, excellent lighting and rich colours, superb exposure and DOF. Bravo. Great job.

Good start Hilary.
Yellowjacket is the name it is usually called around here.
Do like the composition, and the green frame is fine.
Will have to keep the eye out for your other macro shots.
([email protected] Lewis got a podium this weekend)

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-04-29 6:42]

Hi Hil,
Focus, sharpness, details, colors and contrast are very nice. TFS

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-04-29 14:43]

Hola Hil, acertada composición, buena nitidez, luz y color. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-04-29 19:26]

Hello Hil,
This is a fantastic start with macro imaging. The colors, details and composition of this image are spot on. Hil, you should consider an eppi-pen if you are going to do this incredible macro imaging.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-04-29 20:29]

Fine job at capturing this magnificient macro image. Very sharp and detailed with just the right exposure. He looks so real you almost want to get out of it's way! TFS Great notes!!

  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-04-29 23:25]

hi Hilary,
ooh a macro lens! very nice! high on my list of things to purchase.. quite a long list that is too heheh. Anyway, fantastic composition here of this wasp. Great POV and with good depth. Nicely focused up the front of the wasp with loads of detail. great color too. very well done! i look forward to seeing more macro's from you. tfs

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-05-04 7:04]

Hello Hilary,
Very beautiful photo of this Wasp in splendid clear colours and excellent sharp details. Great POV and composition.

Hi Hilary,
I see many great posts on your portfolio. this is one of the best. excellent sharp detailed macro. POV, composition, lighting and frame wonderful. Greenish and yellow colors very nice. thanks for sharing, best wishes
be back for :)

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