Vespa macularis OLIVIER 1792; Vespa maculata SCOPOLI 1763
Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris are our most common social wasps, having a short oculo-malar space (between the bottom of the eye and the base of the mandible). Due to their scavenging habits and choice of nesting sites, they are frequently attracted to homes, gardens and picnic areas, where they may become serious pests. Identification keys and biology are given in Spradbery (1973), Edwards (1980), Else (1994) and Archer (1996).
Widespread in England, Wales, Scotland (recently also including Shetland) and Ireland. Also found on the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.
Overseas, it occurs from about 65°N to north Africa and the Canaries, and eastwards to Sakhalin Island, Korea and China; it is not found in Japan (cf. V. vulgaris). Also found in Canada and the United States south to California. The species has become widely established in the southern hemisphere (Archer 1998, Edwards 1976).