Asian hornets in Galicia

Last year (8th Sept 2016) I reported on sightings of large numbers of Asian hornets (Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836) feeding on flowering bell heather in late August, in Galicia in NW Spain. (1) This year I came across large numbers feeding on Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) flowers in mid-August; a flower which is exceedingly abundant along, or near the coasts…

Hitching a ride on a giant wasp

I came across this very large (c. 5 cm in length) digger wasp which was searching the leaf litter in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, northern Thailand. It is a scoliid wasp called Megascolia azurea (Subfamily Scoliinae; Tribe Scoliini).  There are five subspecies. (1) Given the location, perhaps it is ssp. siamensis  Bertem). Regiscolia  is an alternative name for this genus,…

Oak apple galls

The leaves have only just started to open on this oak tree, a Sessile oak I think, yet it is already covered by many galls. These rounded disfigurations – called Oak apples – are caused by a tiny (5-6 mm) wasp in the family Cynipidae, called Biorhiza pallida.  It is known that the galls are caused…

Pompilid spider killer

I came across this magnificent spider wasp (Pompilidae) feeding on nectar from these flowers beside the steps leading up to Wat Tham Pha Plong, Chiang Dao, Thailand. I have come across this pompilid wasp before in northern Thailand (1), but I am still not sure what species it is. With its orange antennae, it looks similar to the…

Asian hornet in Galicia

At the end of last month (on 28th August) I sat on a hillside in Galicia, Spain, next to a beautiful bush of flowering bell heather, photographing the wasps which were gorging themselves on the pollen and nectar. They were covered in pollen (below). They were very calm and non-aggressive and I sat right next…