Hymenoptera: Vespidae

Vespidae sp  

Vespid Wasp (za) (Vespidae sp)
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© Vik Dunis 2013
Willie Rockhole, NT (Aug, 2013)

An Orange Potter Wasp quietly sucking up water on the surface of a desert rock hole is attacked from behind by an unidentified wasp, possibly Vespidae, with black antennae and black head.

Several times I watched the larger Orange Potter Wasps being attacked while settled on the water by these smaller relatives, sometimes one-on-one and sometimes two or three of the smaller species at a time.

Mostly all parties flew away but the interaction sometimes ended with either the Orange Potter Wasp struggling in the water or a Vespid Wasp struck down.

It would seem that the smaller wasps recognise either something dangerous or unwanted competition in the larger wasp.

Vespid Wasp (za) (Vespidae sp)

Vespid Wasp