Vespula austriaca (Cuckoo Wasp)
A social wasp that is not social - it is the cuckoo parasite of the closely-related Red Wasp V. rufa and lacks any workers, using those of the host to bring up its offspring. It closely resembles the host but never has any hint of red on the abdomen (some red is usually apparent in V. rufa), and the female face has three spots rather than a bold 'anchor' shape like rufa and the clypeus apex is concave with pointed corners. The hind tibiae have long black hairs on their outer face (absent in rufa).

It only occurs within the north and west of the host's range (especially within moorland and open woodland), even though the Red Wasp can be frequent in parts of southern Britain.
Females are particularly keen on Bilberry flowers.

BWARS account:
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