Public observations

Early discovery of a founding queen? 

Alison Authers has sent in the following photos of an insect  who’s identity  she was unsure of.

She looked at the ID photos on and was soon able to make a positive identification of Vespa crabro (European hornet) for herself




The next two photos are valuable for by taking pictures alongside a centimetre rule she was able to give more precise information about the size of the insect.

Apparently Alison took the insect into her lounge and placed it on her settee to give a good plain and contrasting background for the photos. Perhaps not the best place to take a torpid hornet but the colour contrast shows off the insect’s marking to good effect, a great help in making a photo ID of any insect.

Alison tells us the hornet began to wake up soon after this so was taken back out to her compost heap where she had found it. From there it flew off, hopefully to find a nice out of the way place to found a colony.


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