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www.hornissenschutz.de
www.vespa-crabro.de

- aktualisiert am 31.10.2016 -

Bald-faced hornet / White-faced hornet
guêpe à taches blanches

Dolichovespula maculata (Linnaeus, 1763)


Herausgeber und Webmaster
Dieter Kosmeier
Foto - und Videogalerien

Dr. Elmar Billig
Wissenschaftliche Beratung
Thomas Rickinger


Dolichovespula maculata (L.), im nordamerikanischen Raum gemeinhin als "baldfaced hornet" bezeichnet, ist weit verbreitet in den USA, Alaska und Kanada. Trotz ihres umgangssprachlichen Namens handelt es sich bei dieser Art nicht um eine Hornisse (hornet) sondern um einen nahen Verwandten unserer mitteleuropäischen Mittleren Wespe (Dolichovespula media).

Ihr besonderes Kennzeichen ist ihre kontrastreiche schwarz-weiße Gesichtsmaske. Aber auch der restliche Körper ist vorwiegend schwarz-weiß gezeichnet - sie unterscheidet sich daher bereits auf den ersten Blick von den sonst doch meistens schwarz-gelb gezeichneten anderen sozialen Faltenwespen deutlich.

Bald-Faced-Hornet; picture taken by Ken Wingle
 Foto: Ken Wingle

Wie die Mittlere Wespe ist auch Dolichovespula maculata ein ausgesprochener Freinister. Ihre grauen, manchmal mehr als fußballgroßen Nester baut diese Art meist hoch in Bäumen, aber auch unter Dachüberhängen, Fensternischen oder Telegrafenmasten. Sie nistet gerne im menschlichen Siedlungsbereich, wo ihre Völker nicht selten erst im Spätsommer von den Anwohnern bemerkt werden. Oft wird dann deren Vernichtung gefordert, wie in unseren Breiten auch häufig ungerechtfertigt. Dolichovespula maculata ist keine aggressive Art und verteidigt ihr Nest lediglich bei massiven Störungen. Sie wird auch abseits des Nestes nicht lästig, da sie nicht an menschliche Lebensmittel geht.

Bald-Faced-Hornet; picture taken by Ken Wingle
 Foto: Ken Wingle

Völker von D. maculata können in Ausnahmefällen bis zu 800 Arbeiterinnen und etwa 3500 Zellen enthalten. Gemeinhin sind sie aber kleiner und beherbergen nur 200-500 Arbeiterinnen bei 1000 - 2000 Zellen.

D. maculata erbeutet vorzugsweise verschiedene Fliegenarten, verschmäht jedoch auch die kleineren Wespenarten ("yellow jackets") nicht. Sie ist damit zusammen mit "unserer" in Nordamerika ebenfalls vorkommenden Hornisse ("European hornet", Vespa crabro), die einzige Wespenart, die regelmäßig auch ihre kleineren Verwandten erbeutet. Mit dieser wird sie aufgrund ihrer Größe auch gelegentlich verwechselt, doch handelt es sich bei D. maculata - wie bereits erwähnt - nicht um eine echte Hornissenart.

Bald-Faced-Hornet mit Anfangswabe; Foto: Kurt Jaeger
 Foto: Kurt Jaeger

Im Gegensatz zu den meisten anderen Wespenarten verlassen sich die Altköniginnen von D. maculata noch in hohem Maße auf "physische Gewalt", um die Arbeiterinnen steril zu halten und am Eierlegen zu hindern. Wenn im Hochsommer die Geschlechtstiere erzeugt werden, übernimmt die Altkönigin das Entfernen der Seidenreste der Puppenkokons ("cap trimming"), sobald eine junge Wespe geschlüpft ist, um anschließend unverzüglich erneut ein Ei in die nunmehr frei gewordene Zelle zu legen. Auch sieht man sie häufig an den Wabenrändern - wo neue Zellen gebaut werden - patrouillieren. Bei der Eiablage ertappte Arbeiterinnen werden unverzüglich von der Altkönigin angegriffen und vertrieben, ihre Eier aufgefressen.

Queen
Königin

Male
Drohn

Worker
Arbeiterin

Die Kasteneinteilung der baldfaced hornet ist - wie bei den sozialen Faltenwespen üblich - dreiteilig:

  • Königin (Vollweibchen)

  • Arbeiterin (Hilfsweibchen)

  • Drohn (Männchen)

Übrigens ist das schwarz-weiße Farbmuster nur aus unserer (europäischen) Sicht exotisch und ungewöhnlich anmutend.

Für viele soziale Faltenwespenarten in Fernost ist hingegen genau diese Farbgebung typisch. Ein interessantes Beispiel dafür ist die Rote Wespe (Vespula rufa), die etwa hinter dem Fluß Lena in Sibirien nicht nur ihre rötlichen Flecken verliert, sondern auch ihre gelbe Grundfarbe nach Osten hin allmählich in ein bläßliches Weiß ändert (= Vespula rufa schrenckii)!


 Nachstehende Fotos: Michael Ellestad, USA

Orginal E-Mail von Michael Ellestad:
This huge bald faced hornet nest - found near a park - from 1999 was at least over a foot in diameter but it is very elongated and has a very small entry hole.

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Das Nest weist anfänglich oft einen nach unten gerichteten Eingangstunnel auf, der aber im Verlauf des weiteren Nestbaus wieder rückgebaut wird.

Orginal E-Mail von Michael Ellestad:
Heres photos of live bald-faced hornet nest on ladder. This is the first time I have shot photos of a live nest. The wet looking spots are area where new pulp was being added. They were taken in the dark because during the day I was afraid to get too close so I did it at night which let me get closer.

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photo: Michael Ellestad photo: Michael Ellestad



Foto: Jennifer Chen


pictures taken by Terri from Southwestern Pennsyvania  pictures taken by Terri from Southwestern Pennsyvania
Fotos von Terri aus Southwestern Pennsyvania
pictures taken by Terri from Southwestern Pennsyvania


Orginal E-Mail von H Parker:
I do regret not documenting the progress of the growth of the nest from the last week in May when it was only the size of a golf ball. We just were pleased to watch it grow! We never had the large number of hornets at any given time that your site information indicates and as did the Yellow jackets. It is amazing how so few hornets were able to construct the nest to the size it is now. I wonder if our Northwest Washington State does not have the large swarms of them as other areas of north America. Very few people we have spoken to about the Bald Face Hornet are not even aware of their existence at least in our immediate area.

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Fotos: Barbara H Parker


Orginal E-Mail von David Taylor:
I work in woods in Kentucky, USA, and occasionally find individuals or their nests. While somewhat nervous around them, they are fun to watch as they capture prey. I have also had experience with the bald-faced hornet in the woods. More than once I have had numerous individuals pluck flies off of my clothing. At first it was terribly unnerving to be surround by them. When I realized what they were doing, I relaxed and watch with amazement. They fly in with legs together like a basket, scoop the fly up and hold it.


Orginal E-Mail von David Bishop:
This nest was located in a heavily wooded area near our home and is the larger by half again from any we'd ever seen before.

This was located in a nearby wooded area by our home in San Rafael, California just last week. Making a capture net from an old pool strainer and plastic garbage bag and using an extendable pruner we were able to detach it from it's support branches without any damage. What makes this feat even more impressive is that we( my wife and I) did this at night with two daughters running around with the flashlight like yellowjackets themselves It was about fifteen feet in the air over a steep hillside between two bay laurel trees. The color is strikingly different from the ones displayed in your site. It may be that the source of their pulp is the local madrone and eucalyptus, both of which are deep brown and reddish in their outer bark. Perhaps it may also be that the wood pulp hasn't bleached to grey since it was in such a heavily wooded area. SInce finding this one we've become aware of two others and are quite pleased to be able to provide them to our local schools' science rooms. It's been a great pleasure introducing children to this aspect of the natural world that otherwise strikes fear.

Foto: David Bishop

Orginal E-Mail von M Seymour:
I first learned about them when I worked on a farm where we raised two open barns full of veal calves each summer. I was nervous about working in the barns because there were bald-faced hornets flying around in there and I thought they must have a nest nearby. After I expressed my concern, the farm manager observed them one afternoon to try to find the nest and when I came to work the next day, he had me come watch them with him. They were catching flies! The nest was in a pumphouse 40 feet away from the barns and for two summers I fed in those outside barns twice a day and was never stung. I WAS occasionally dive bombed for a tempting-looking mole on my cheek that apparently looks like a fly to a bald-faced hornet....... I know this alone would panic people with a bee phobia, but I got used to it. In fact, this nearsighted optimism made me like them even better! And I was thrilled to see those irritating flies ending up as someone's dinner!

Since then I've watched them carefully. They hunt around my white car that flies love to land on in the late summer and fall. They harvest cedar from the rail fence near my front door and I can hear them chewing the fibers off. They love the small sweet flowers of a wild vine called squirting cucumber that grows here, and they (as the pictures at your site show) make the most beautiful and amazing nests. All in all a most interesting, helpful and wonderful insect.


Orginal E-Mail von Garland J. Hoops
Hello, I walked out my door the other morning at 5:30 AM on my way to work,on the short walk from my door & my jeep I was stung on the arm by a Bald Faced Hornet, OUCH. Well I have been looking for ways to kill the Hornets in there nest since then UNTIL I happened to run across your web site, Now I don't think I want to kill them. I'm still not sure why it stung me as it's nest is across the street from my house attached to a cable box close to a telephone pole. I figure maybe they were disoriented by my outside light & one was sitting on my screen door & when I came out it was startled so it attacked. I am attaching a couple pic's I took of the nest with my digital camera, I will be taking photo's of the nest with my 35mm camera & if you like I will send you the pic's. I am located in Newark, Delaware USA. Thanks for all the Great info on your website.

Sincerely,
Garland J. Hoops

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Fotos: Garland J. Hoops
 


Orginal E-Mail von Mark Laws
"Actually I was going to a cellular site here in St.Louis Missouri to do some maintenance work. I looked up and noticed a large nest of white faced hornets and I stoped took some pictures. I thought it was interesting so I found your website and sent you the picture. Also I noticed that the migration of these's HornetsWest Coast and South East, I found then In the Mid-West??? Go ahead and use my pictures on your website.... "

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Fotos: Mark Laws


Orginal E-Mail von Lynn Passamonte
"We found this in our back yard this summer { August, 2003}. We had a pool with a deck and on one end of the deck we have a very large Rhododendron Bush. This past Spring we took down our pool so the bush was wide open. Your sight has been of the upmost help to us. We cut it down today { November 9th} and measured it. It is 41" around the middle and stands 27" high. We are taking it to our Daughter's who is a 6th grade teacher. She wants to use it in her classroom. We have never seen a nest as large and very active as this one. I'm sending along some pictures I took this morning. Thank you again for your web site."

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Fotos: Lynn Passamonte

Orginal E-Mail of Corey Bryant
"Make no mistake about it: Bald-faced hornets are extremely protective of their nest and will sting repeatedly if disturbed. But they are the most docile hornet and fairly gentle outside the nest area."


Foto: Rita Gale
 Fotos: Rita Gale

bald-faced-hornets, picture taken by William T. Prouty. Thanks! bald-faced-hornets, picture taken by William T. Prouty. Thanks! Bald-Faced-Hornets, picture taken by William T. Prouty. Thanks!
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photo: Dr. med. Alexander Lang, Toronto
Foto: Dr. med. Alexander Lang, Toronto

Foto: Michael Freeman
 Foto: Michael Freeman

photo: Jennifer Chen
 Foto: Jennifer Chen

Bald-Faced-Hornet, picture taken by Arlene Ripley
 Foto: Arlene Ripley

 


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