Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

23 February 2014 | Lesser Paper Wasp | Lesser Banded Hornet |

photo photo In February, I happened to locate the nests of 2 different wasps. Occasionally, I do get to see wasp nests but there were generally small ones from the Tropical Paper Wasp (Polistes stigma) or long-slender ones from the Banded Paper Wasp (Ropalidia fasciata). The two nests that I saw this month was rather special, both were not commonly seen in Singapore nowadays.

The first nest belonged to the Lesser Paper Wasp (Parapolybia varia). According to the wasp specialist, John Lee, this is an uncommon wasp in Singapore. The elongated nest was found hanging from the back of a leaf from the Wild Cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum iners).

With this find, I recalled seeing a similar nest at Ang Mo Kio area back in 2011. Indeed, my memory did not fail me. I managed to dig out pictures on that encounter in my photo archive folder. Unfortunately, the nest then was high up on the tree and the pictures taken were blurry. Coincidently, it was also hanging from a Wild Cinnamon tree.

photo photo The second nest was from the Lesser Banded Hornet (Vespa affinis). It was located deep in the bush. I managed to find it by following a hornet that flew into the bush although I did not see it entering the nest. The first picture on the far left was the nest when I first saw it but was uncertain on the owner of the nest. The second picture with the hornets moving on the nest was taken 11 days later which revealed the owner. My attempt to bring my camera closer had probably disturbed the surrounding bushes which alerted the hornets. I had to retreat to a safe distance to take the pictures to make sure they do not come after me.

Hornet stink is quite painful and can cause severe allergic reaction in some people. The stink may be fatal for small children. Sometimes I saw people holding a long stick and whacking the bushes as they walked along the path in nature park just for the fun of it. This was not a good behaviour and could be dangerous since hornets do build their nest in bushes.

To use any of the image(s), please read the conditions carefully. To correct any error, please contact me.