Wasps are a diverse grouping of hundreds of thousands of species, being used mainly to describe members of the order Hymenoptera, family Vespidae. Australia is home to thousands of species of native wasps.

When talking about wasps, they are occasionally grouped by their colours, such as the orange and black potter and mud wasps, through to the hairy yellow wasps. Even within a genus, there are variable colours to be found between the different species.

The Potter wasps, once recognised as the family Eumeninae, but now a a subfamily of the family Vespidae, are a cosmopolitan wasp group with a number of variable species. They are solitary wasps, that build mud nest and are typically yellow and black or orange and black in colour (see our orange and black Potter Wasp Delta latreillei and Abispa ephippium). Abispa splendida are a black and yellow wasp.

Paralastor sp. - Alice Springs, NT
family Vespidae, subfamily Eumeninae, genus Paralastor sp.

The genus Paralastor, also of the subfamily Eumeninae, include a number of yellow and black wasps. Although such common description, is very broad, covering wasps that are neither solitary nor mud nest builders.

Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris tasmaniensis), Alice Springs, NT
Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Family Scoliidae, genus Radumeris, species Radumeris tasmaniensis)


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Vespoidea
  • Family: Vespidae
  • Subfamily: Eumeninae

Footnote & References

  1. Know your wasps, by Kerri-Lee Harris, Atlas of Life, https://atlasoflife.org.au/resources/know-your-wasps
  2. Wasp Photos and Identification, Aussie Bee, https://www.aussiebee.com.au/wasp-photos.html
  3. Bees and wasps, Native and exotic species of wasps and bees, Department of Primary Industries, NSW Government, https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/plant/bees-and-wasps
  4. Wasps, eWasp, https://ewasp.com.au/insects-and-arachnids/wasps/

WaspsAustralian Mud Nest Wasps Bembicinae Bembix Eumeninae Mud Wasp Orange-collared Spider Wasp Potter Wasp Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Yellow and Black Wasp Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp – R tasmaniensis