What kind of beast is this?

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 | images

When I was at university a wasp crawled up my trouser leg whilst I was sitting outside, I didn’t realise what had happened until about 20 min later when I had gone inside and was sitting in a lecture and began to feel something tickling my thigh. On scratching my itch the little fella started stinging and much commotion ensued. I was stung five times before I managed to get the wasp out. I have not been very fond of wasps since that day.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that wasps had begun nesting in a water tank just outside of my kitchen window (which is 3 floors up) the entrance to the nest is via an over-flow pipe. I wanted to make some recordings of the wasps so I went out onto the water tank with a microphone & stand running the cable back to my computer. I realised that the wasps were actually very friendly considering how close I was to their nest, they didn’t seem to mind the mic which was a couple of inches from the entrance.  A couple of curious wasps came to check me out but didn’t seem overly concerned by my presence. 

While I was out on the roof I noticed a Large reddish looking insect close to the nest entrance. The insect which was about 3-4 times the size of the regular wasps and had reddish brown wings and back and had yellow makings on it’s abdomen. I didn’t have my camera at the time but this morning I saw it again sitting on the entrance to the nest and managed to get some shots. 


Who are you?

Who are you?

The regular looking wasps don’t seem to mind the larger insect seen here sitting on the entrance to the nest.



So my question to you is, What is it?

Here is a video of the wasps coming and going.



Leafcutter John.

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7 Comments to What kind of beast is this?

Nephertiti Oboshie
July 9, 2009
Leafcutter John
July 9, 2009

Good to see her getting a bit of fresh air!

July 9, 2009

a horrible big hornet queen

Leafcutter John
July 9, 2009

I’m pretty sure it’s a wasp nest and not a hornet nest, but yes the big thing looks very much like a hornet to me too. Why would it want to hang with the waspies? And why would the wasps let it? Come on Leo bring your big book of insects around….

July 18, 2009

Dear insect friends,
no it is not a wasp or a hornet.
This probably is a big “syrphid fly” (so many different species immitating wasps) “http://www.insektenbox.de/zweifl/norm/chryint.jpg” or “http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustaf-wallen/3634761727/” scientific name – “Chrysotoxum intermedium” – they look like wasps (but can’t sting) – and so no bird wants to eat’em. Hornets are even bigger than these flies – and Hornets can “eat tons if wasps” during summer.

Frances Castle
July 23, 2009

That’s interesting because I saw an insect exactly the same as that sitting on a car outside my flat in Finsbury Park north London about 3 weeks ago. I made a note to look it up, but never got round to it. I partually remember the brown area between the head and the wings.

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