Vespa arborea SMITH 1849; Vespa biloba SCHILLING 1850; Vespa borealis SMITH 1843; Vespa infernalis DE SAUSSURE 1854; Vespa tripunctata PACKARD 1870
This wasp is an obligate social parasite of V. rufa in Europe and Asia. In North America its host is V. acadica. Called the 'cuckoo wasp', only queens and males are found since workers are not reared. See Spradbery (1973), Archer (1979, 1996b, 1997), Edwards (1980) and Else (1994) for keys and biology.
A widespread species in Britain and Ireland, but with very few records from south-east England.
Overseas, it occurs in northern, eastern and central Europe to northern Spain and Italy; across Russia to about 65° North, and east to Kamchatka. Also in Asia (Turkey, northern Pakistan, Kashmir, Mongolia, northern China, North Korea and Japan). In North America found in Canada and the northern United States (Akre et al. 1981).