Median Wasp - Dolichovespula media


The Median Wasp has yellow 'tick' marks on its shoulders. The face has a slim black bar. Antennae are yellow at the base. The abdomen often (but not always) has more black than other species with very thin yellow bands.

Similar Species

The queen could be confused with the Hornet, but this species is larger and has red at the front of the abdomen (see Identification Aids below).

Identification difficulty
Identification aids



It can be seen foraging around any areas with bushes and trees that support a nest.

When to see it

June to October.

Life History

This European social wasp builds its hanging nest in trees and bushes. The workers collect nectar for themselves to eat but hunt other insects to feed to the queen and to larvae. Like most wasps, only the queens survive the winter to start up new colonies in the spring.

UK Status

Dolichovespula media only arrived in England in the 1980s and is slowly expanding its range northwards and becoming more common. It has now been recorded over the border in Scotland.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Species group:
Bees, Wasps, Ants
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
03/08/2008 (Gaten, Ted)
Last record:
18/10/2023 (Smith, Peter)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records