Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn
(nest rests on a 55 gallon drum for scale)
The same pest control operators reportedly recently removed another similar nest on the southwest side of San Antonio, TX.
Range: Brachygastra is a Neotropical genus ranging from South Texas to Northern Argentina (Hogue, 1993)
Brachygastra mellifica is found throughout Mexico and Central America (Richards, 1978).
Historical range in Texas south of Zapata and Kleberg Counties (Sugden & McAllen, 1994)
Recently sighted as far north as Austin, Travis County, Texas. (C. Durden, pers. comm., 2007)
There's also a 100 year old record from Nogales, Santa Cruz County, Arizona (Cameron, 1907).
Length: 7-9 mm (Hogue, 1993)
Habitat: Occurs in all but the driest habitats (Hogue, 1993)
Life History: See extensive life history discussion here.
Workers are mild mannered by vespid wasp standards but sting hard when sufficiently provoked. The sting is barbed and stays in the wound if the victim is a human or other large animal. (Hogue, 1993)
Cameron. 1907. Invertebrata Pacifica 1:181.
Hogue, C. 1993. Latin American Insects and Entomology. University of California Press, Berkeley. xiv + 594 pp.
Richards, O.W. 1978. The social wasps of the Americas, excluding. the Vespinae. British Museum (Natural History), London. 580 pp.
Sugden, E.A. & R.L. McAllen. 1994. Observations on foraging, population and nest biology of the Mexican honey wasp, Brachygastra mellifica (Say) in Texas (Vespidae: Polybiinae). Journal of Kansas Entomological Society, 67(2): 141-155.
22 Nov 2008 © Mike Quinn / firstname.lastname@example.org / Texas Entomology