Bees, Wasps, Ants and Sawflies

Order: Hymenoptera

Large order, with 69 families and almost 12,000 species in Australia. Of these all but six families and around 200 species belong to the ‘true’ bees, wasps and ants of the suborder Apocrita. The abdomen is divided into two sections with the second segment reduced to form a ‘waist’ or petiole. Two pairs of membranous wings, the forewings longer than the hindwings, large compound eyes and mandibulate mouthparts. Sawflies (suborder Symphyta), the common name given from the saw-like ovipositor of the female, used to cut into the leaf or stem of a host plant, to lay her eggs, lack the obvious narrow ‘waist’ between thorax and abdomen. Sawflies also have more complex wings.

European Honeybee

European Honeybee

What does it look like? The European Honeybee generally yellowish-brown all over, with blackish-brown bands on the abdomen and an orange-brown wash. Some variation in colour and pattern between individuals. Where does it live? Introduced into Australia by early European settlers, and is now widespread. What are its habitats and habits? The European Honeybee occurs in forests, woodlands,...
European Wasp

European Wasp

   What does it look like?  The European Wasp is black with broad yellow bands and almost hairless, elongated abdomen. Where does it live? Native to Europe, north Africa and Asia. Introduced into southern Australia, where it is widespread from southern Queensland in the east to Perth, Western Australia, in the west, and in Tasmania. What are its habitats and habits? T...
Green Ant

Green Ant

What does it look like? The Green ant is mostly orange with bright green abdomen (gaster). Single queen larger than all workers (up to 25mm) and greenish-brown, major workers larger than minor workers, and with larger heads and jaws. Where does it live? Found throughout tropical northern Australia from the western Kimberley, through northern NT to central eastern Qld. Also in southeast Asia....
Meat Ant

Meat Ant

What does it look like?  The Meat Ant is long-legged with large reddish-brown head and dark metallic bluish-black abdomen (gaster). Where does it live? Found throughout mainland Australia, and overlaps with other very similar species also known as meat ants. What are its habitats and habits? The Meat Ant inhabits woodlands, grasslands and adjacent urban areas with sand or gravel substrates, ...
Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

What does it look like?  The Paper Wasp is predominantly black with two pairs of brownish wings, and scattered yellow or orange markings or rings on the long cylindrical abdomen. Very narrow waist and head small with large eyes. Where does it live? Found throughout Australia. What are its habitats and habits? The Paper Wasp occurs in a variety of habitats throughout their ...