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About wild wasps and their larvae

Поговорим о так называемых диких осах - под этим названием скрывается немало видов насекомых...

Wild wasps are a common popular name for all wasps that build their nests away from human buildings. However, by and large, almost all these insects can be called wild, including several types of paper wasps, which sometimes tend to settle close to human habitation, where they find food in abundance.

Sometimes common hornets also settle in suburban areas and in houses. But this happens much less often, and in general hornets are typical large forest wasps, settling among the abundant foliage of trees or in dense bushes.

Гнездо шершней на дереве

А на этой фотографии показан шершень обыкновенный.

But not everything is so simple in the aspen kingdom: in the gardens and gardens, in the front gardens and flower beds right next to the houses many wild wasps are lodged, the larvae of which develop twenty to thirty centimeters under the surface of the earth, and their parents fuss around our legs, for his offspring. These insects do not strike our eyes and are often not perceived as wasps just because not all of them have a characteristic yellow-black striped coloring and, moreover, many of them lead a solitary life and are never so numerous as to cause inconvenience with your presence.

Nevertheless, single wild wasps can attract attention. For example, in the photo below is a giant chamois, one of the largest European wasps. Such a large black insect simply can not help but be glued to itself:

На фото - гигантская оса сколия

Another example is the shiny wasp, which catches your eye primarily because of its unusual bright color. However, only a person who is well versed in biology, identifies in them wild bees:

А так выглядит оса-блестянка.

Public wasps: how they look, where they live and what they eat

Public wild wasps are the most famous and easily recognizable. They are usually referred to, talking about "wild wasps." This group includes several families, for example:

  • wasps-polists, which include all known yellow and black paper wasps (in general, the family has several hundred species, but only 2-3 of them are habitual human neighbors);
  • Wasp-weight (in other words, hornets) are the largest social wasps and one of the largest representatives of wasps in general;
  • wasps-polibians - American "analogues" of European paper wasps.

В отдельных ячейках осиного гнезда хорошо видны личинки этих насекомых.

Огромный японский шершень

The main feature of all types of social wasps is that they live in large families, in which one female lays eggs, called the uterus, and they take care of their offspring, extract food and protect the nest several dozen or hundreds of workers.

It is interesting

All working wasps in the family are females that are not capable of reproduction. The duration of their life varies from several weeks to several months, and they usually do not experience winter.

Single wasps, fearless and unobtrusive

If the public wasps are known for catching and carrying into the nest of various insects (sometimes even quite large ones), single wasps literally amaze their fearlessness in the production of food for larvae. Many of their species catch poisonous spiders (and some even specialize only in tarantulas or solpuga), as well as bedbugs, mantises, bees.

Некоторые дикие осы предпочитают охотиться на пауков.

The victim is paralyzed by the sting of the sting and falls into a previously prepared burrow in the ground, where an egg is deposited on her immobilized, but still alive body. The further development of events is even less obvious: the larva hatching from the egg, bites into the body "canned food" and begins to methodically eat it.

First of all, prey is eaten by those systems of organs, the loss of which does not lead to the instant death of the immobilized insect - the larva begins its nutrition with the digestive, excretory and sexual systems of the victim, and only at the end of its development passes to the respiratory and nervous system. This "approach" allows you to keep a stock of fresh meat for as long as possible.

Single wasps differ markedly from the public constitution and coloration. They usually have a long slender body and a dark color. However, among them there are brightly colored species. For example, a bee-wolf is a philanthropist, which is very similar to a paper os:

На фото показан пчелиный волк филант

Some road wasps have an excessively elongated body, and the individual wasps are so brightly colored that they can compete with butterflies in beauty of appearance:

У дорожной осы очень стройное вытянутое тело, что помогает ей залазить даже в узкие отверстия в земле.

Эта фотография хорошо демонстрирует очень яркую окраску ос-блестянок.

Striking single wasps and their size. For example, some tropical species of scoliomas are the largest wasps in general.

In addition, the scolias are interesting because they do not build even secluded mink for their larvae. Care for the offspring of them is limited to finding large larvae of beetles in the ground, paralyzing them with their sting and laying eggs on the prey. In the future, the wasp larva will eat the beetle larva directly in its underground shelter.

There is also a very interesting group of os-Germans who parasitize in the nests of their social colleagues and lay eggs on the larvae, for example, the same paper wasps. Females of many species of os-Germans do not have wings, and their body is abundantly pubescent - outwardly they resemble fluffy ants, which is why they are often called "velvet ants".

Это насекомое, похожее на бархатного муравья, на самом деле является осой-немкой.

Reproduction of wild wasps, places of their settlements and way of life

The family of wild socialists usually settles in secluded forest shelters (hollows, burrows, dense bush), but can choose, for example, rock crevices and other secluded places. Here, the female queen begins to build a nest from the paper-like chewed young tree bark, which is already being completed by working individuals.

In large hornets, the nest can have about a meter in height and about 70-80 cm in diameter.

Иногда гнезда шершней достигают действительно огромных размеров...

The main purpose of the nest of wild forest is to protect and provide the larvae with normal conditions for their development. Eggs of the uterus are placed in pre-prepared honeycombs, in which young larvae hang by special glue, and older offspring simply bursts the honeycomb with their sides and therefore does not fall out of it.

В сотах гнезда видны яйца ос.

Взрослые личинки ос удерживаются в ячейках гнезда благодаря своему объемному телу.

Личинки практически неподвижны, за исключением, разве что, головы.

Adult individuals of the social wild are sucked by sweet fruits, nectar of flowers, fermented berries. But their larvae they feed exclusively meat food - a gruel of chewed insects.

By winter, the old womb dies, and the workers' wasps are dying. For wintering in secluded places only young females are hiding, which next year will give birth to new families.

Unlike forest social partners, single wasps are less scrupulous about choosing a place for growing offspring - they arrange burrows for their larvae literally everywhere. Some species even settle mainly along the roadsides, where it is very convenient for them to make houses for posterity in the mound. The mink of these insects can also be located on flower beds, in vegetable gardens, flower beds, on wasteland and just among the grass.

Adult single wasps do not survive the winter, and in the underground shelters among the remnants of the eaten victims only pupae are wintering.

What are the dangerous wasps?

Almost all wild wasps are quite painful to sting. At the same time, the strength of his bite depends on the characteristics of the biology of an insect and the possible consequences for a person:

  • so, for example, it would seem that large and terrible scolias sting relatively weakly and practically without serious consequences, since their venom is intended primarily for immobilizing an already inactive and not dangerous prey.
  • But the poison of many species of hornets is so strong that it causes extensive swelling and very sharp pain. Sometimes an allergic reaction to such a bite can lead to anaphylactic shock and death. Especially dangerous in this respect are tropical huge hornets - several simultaneous bites can cause internal bleeding.

На укусы ос и шершней у некоторых людей возникает очень сильная аллергическая реакция, иногда представляющая угрозу для здоровья и жизни человека.


"We had a history of hornets at the dacha. They settled right in the toilet, and when, on arrival in the summer, my husband and I decided to withdraw them, they swarmed Seryozha with a whole swarm. He received 8 bites, it was impossible to watch him calmly. Such a feeling was that he swelled like a balloon, his eyes did not open and his nose did not breathe. It is good that the medical center works in the partnership, he received an injection of an allergy remedy. Only this, probably, saved. I had to constantly give him painkillers, because because of the bites, he could not sleep at all. "

Hope, Moscow

Among the wasps there is also an insect with one of the most painful bites in the world: the road wasp Pepsis elegans, the main part of the production of which are tarantulas, is considered the second insect in the world for the morbidity of the bite after the South American ant bullet.

Wild Wasps in the Tropics

In the tropical regions, wasps are more numerous than in Russia and other countries of the temperate zone. Moreover, both single and public species are widely represented here.

In the tropics of Thailand, India and Burma there is the largest wasp in the world - Megascolia procer, reaching a length of 5.5 cm. In China, Japan and Primorye, there are several species of huge hornets, having a body length of up to 5 cm and leading to a large number of deaths among of the local population.

Самая крупная оса в мире – Megascolia procer.

Огромные японские шершни - Vespa Mandarinia

It is important to remember that when traveling through tropical countries, you should be prepared to meet with these insects and have a proper first aid kit.


"We drove in the afternoon on the road near Danang on a moped. Suddenly, I noticed a fast approaching spot and did not even have time to consider what it was like something soft hit my forehead and flew over my head. Almost immediately I felt a terrible pain in my neck, as if a hot nail was attached to it. It was so painful that I jerked my hand to the side of my neck, lost control and the moped flew into a ditch. Ana and I rolled along the road. It's good that she had a helmet.

I did not understand anything then and just wanted to get rid of the terrible pain in my neck, but there was nothing. When friends came behind us, my neck was swollen already so that I could not turn my head and could hardly breathe. I hit hard with my head falling on the asphalt, but I did not feel pain in my temple because of the bite. The friends said that it was a local hornet and immediately took us to Anya with the hospital. I was pricked with some kind of medication, and Ana put the seams on her torn elbow. Edema from a bite was only two weeks later. "

Thomas, Vancouver

If you decide to deal with hornets or wasps yourself, then we recommend using only proven in practice tools that have shown their high efficiency:

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