Vespa crabro, feeding behavior

Vespa crabro, feeding behavior

Postby corzon on 21 Sep 2008, 17:48

This week I have been looking for insects on flowering Ivy, a good insect lure in autumn. Although my main target was butterflies, my attention was definitely drawn to a female Vespa crabro - not a regular sight near Amsterdam. Obviously, this wasp was hunting insects: continously chasing any insect, including big butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) - mostly to no avail though. Actually, I got the distinct impressions that this wasp was a lousy predator... In between chases she occasionally fed on Ivy flowers, possibly to fuel the energy demanding pursuits. But here tast was for honey bees! - end in the end I finally observed two captures. Here's a picture of all feeding aspects I observed today.
Vespa crabro 573 med.jpg
After a capture, the wasp flew away to nearby bushes to concume her prey.
Vespa crabro 313 med.jpg
Masticating a honey bee - already beyond recognition
Vespa crabro 335 med.jpg
Feeding on Ivy flowers in between chases
Thanks for your attention!

Kind regards,
Cor Zonneveld
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Re: Vespa crabro, feeding behavior

Postby Libor on 21 Sep 2008, 18:03

Hi, nice photos. More times, I have observed insect "assemblages" on fermented fruits (apple, pear, plum). Vespa crabro very often flew above the fruits and waited on insect, which was finally captured by Vespa. The prey was diverse, honeybee, wasps, and also bigger flies (Sarcophaga, Calliphora). Libor
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