The Australian hornet (Abispa ephippium), actually a type of potter wasp or "mason wasp", is a vespid insect native to the Australian states and territories of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. The Australian hornet is a solitary insect, forming small nests against buildings and other structures. The adult wasp feeds off flower nectar, while the larvae are fed caterpillars captured by the female.
A. ephippium is 30 mm (1.2 in) in length. The insect is mostly orange, with a large central black patch on the top of the thorax, and a wide black band marking the abdomen. The insects wings are largely translucent, but tinted orange with black areas at the wing's end.
Being a member of the potter wasp subfamily (Eumeninae), A. ephippium females build large nests in sheltered positions using mud. The females search for prey (including spiders and caterpillars) around trees and shrubs, before sealing the captured insects inside the nest's cells. The larvae then feed upon these insects, before emerging.
- "Abispa ephippium (Fabricius, 1775)". GBIF.org. 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- "Australian Faunal Directory, Species Abispa (Abispa) ephippium (Fabricius, 1775)". Australian Faunal Directory. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "OzAnimals.com, Potter Wasp (Abispa ephippium)". Potter Wasp (Abispa ephippium). Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Mud Dauber and Potter wasps, Potter Wasp Abispa ephippium". Mud Dauber and Potter wasps - Queensland Museum. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
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