I know I’ve been posting a lot of wasps lately, but honestly I find these insects both fascinating and extremely pretty. This wasp is the Australian paper wasp, which is fairly common around most of NSW. These wasps are clever little engineers, building a paper structure that they suspend off something – often awnings on a roof or similar.
The structure they build has a directly practical purpose: As it serves as housing for their eggs and then later their developing larvae.
This photo allows you to see the eggs very easily, on the top row of cells where the wasps are. As you can also tell from this shot, these nests can have quite a few wasps hanging about on them at any point. If you’re wondering about how aggressive or dangerous they are, I’m honestly not that sure actually. My direct observations is that they will get very upset with you when you approach the nest, usually making a “threat” display involved with fanning their wings at a high frequency at you. At the same time, I’ve never actually been attacked by these wasps or felt they were about to attack, unlike the hornets I photographed in the past.
Either way, you should always respect any animal you are photographing and never try to deliberately provoke them. It’s safer for both the creatures you are trying to photograph and most importantly, your own health!