There are hundreds of thousands of species of wasps in the world, with Australia being home to many thousands of native wasp species, plus a few introduced and feral species. Many species of wasps are solitary, whilst other live in social groups. With so many species of wasps, they come in a variety of colours, distinctive shapes and sizes, and some with unusual common names such as the Velvet Ants.

Check out some of the genus/species listed, and come back as we add more over time… “what a wonderful world… we live in…”

WaspsWasps Index Australian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Velvet Ants Abispa ephippium Acarozumia amaliae Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembix Bembicinae Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Braconidae Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Delta philantes Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Torymus Yellow and Black Wasp

Like native bees, they play a critical role in the environment. Whilst some wasps feed on nectar (aiding in plant pollination), equally as important are those whose roles are as predators and parasites, whose larvae feed on caterpillars, spiders, and many other insects.

Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT
Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT
Aulacid Wasps (family Aulacidae), Kallangur, SE QLD © Michael Cawdrey
Aulacid Wasps (family Aulacidae), Kallangur, SE QLD © Michael Cawdrey
Sand Wasp (subfamily Bembicinae), Alice Springs, NT
Sand Wasp (subfamily Bembicinae), Alice Springs, NT
Sand Wasp (genus Bembix), Owen Springs Reserve, NT © Dorothy Latimer
Sand Wasp (genus Bembix), Owen Springs Reserve, NT © Dorothy Latimer
Blue Hairy Flower Wasp (family Scoliidae, genus Austroscolia), Alice Springs NT
Blue Hairy Flower Wasp (family Scoliidae, genus Austroscolia), Alice Springs NT
Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp)Chrysididae, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Orange Spider Wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor), Olive Pink Botanic Garden NT
Orange Spider Wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor), Olive Pink Botanic Garden NT
Orange-tailed Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei), Alice Springs NT
Orange-tailed Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei), Alice Springs NT
Eumeninae sp, Alice Springs, NT
Eumeninae sp, Alice Springs, NT
Orange-collared Spider Wasp (Ferreola handschini)
Orange-collared Spider Wasp (Ferreola handschini), Alice Springs NT
Gasteruptiid Wasp (family Gasteruptiidae), Glen Aplin QLD © Marc Newman
Gasteruptiid Wasp (family Gasteruptiidae), Glen Aplin QLD © Marc Newman
Paralastor sp. - Alice Springs, NT
Paralastor sp.
Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides, Alice Springs, NT
Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides (Potter Wasp), Alice Springs, NT
Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) on lemon blossoms, Alice Springs NT
Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) on lemon blossoms, Alice Springs NT
Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris tasmaniensis)
Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris tasmaniensis), Alice Springs, NT
Chalcid Wasp (genus Torymus), Alice Springs Desert Park NT
Chalcid Wasp (genus Torymus), Alice Springs Desert Park NT
Hatchet Wasp (family Evaniidae, genus Szepligetiella), Geraldton, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Hatchet Wasp (family Evaniidae, genus Szepligetiella), Geraldton, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Sceliphron laetum making the next cell in the mud nest, Alice Springs NT
Sceliphron laetum, Alice Springs NT
Thynnid Wasps mating, Santa Teresa Rd, Central Australia © Dorothy Latimer
Thynnid Wasps mating, Central Australia © Dorothy Latimer
Male Flower Wasp (family Tiphiidae), ACT/NSW © Amie Lording
Male Flower Wasp (family Tiphiidae), ACT/NSW © Amie Lording

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera

Footnote & References

  1. Wasp Photos and Identification, Aussie Bee, https://www.aussiebee.com.au/wasp-photos.html
  2. What Wasp is that? An Interactive Identification Guide to the Australasian Families of Hymenoptera, by Nicholas B. Stevens, Claire J. Stephens, Muhammad Iqbal, John T. Jennings, John LaSalle, and Andrew D. Austin, Lucidcentral.org, https://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/what_wasp_is_that/key/What%20wasp%20is%20that/Media/Html/Hymenoptera%20key/FrontPage.htm
  3. Wasp, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp (last visited Dec. 11, 2021)
  4. Wasp Week, 20 May 2021, Author Kerri-Lee Harris, https://southernforestlife.net/happenings/category/Wasps
  5. Sand wasp puzzles: part 1, Species identification, Wasps, Author Kerri-Lee Harris, 15 February 2023, https://southernforestlife.net/happenings/2023/sandwasp-puzzles1
  6. Know your wasps, Atlas of Life, https://atlasoflife.org.au/resources/know-your-wasps

WaspsWasps Index Australian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Velvet Ants Abispa ephippium Acarozumia amaliae Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembix Bembicinae Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Braconidae Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Delta philantes Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Torymus Yellow and Black Wasp

InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Formicidae Hemiptera Heteroptera (True Bugs) Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Syrphidae Wasps Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub