Vespula germanicaCommon name: European Wasp

Meaning of name: The meaning of Vespula is not known. Germanica refers to Germany.

Distribution: This wasp is native to Europe, northern Africa and temperate Asia. It has been introduced to Australia and many other parts of the world.

Description: European Wasps are approximately 15 millimetres long. They have black and yellow markings and black antennae.

Notes: They build their nests underground or in tree hollows from plant fibres that have been chewed to a papier mache consistency. The nest is not usually seen but many wasps will be seen flying in and out of a hole in the ground.

They are similar to Yellow Paper Wasps, Polistes dominulus. Yellow Paper Wasps have orange antennae and fly with legs hanging down whereas European Wasps have black antennae and fly with legs held close to the body.

European Wasps have not established themselves in Western Australia and there is a program to keep our state free of them. Reported wasps will be investigated, confirmed as European Wasps and their nests removed without charge.

In Western Australia, report all sightings of European Wasps to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Pest and Disease Information Service by phone on (08) 9368 3080 or email

References: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development