Vespa

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Vespa

 

a genus of stinging hymenopterous insects of the family Vespidae (true wasps), belonging to the group of social wasps. The body reaches 3.5 cm in length, the females being larger than the males and the workers. The body is usualy brownish with yellow patterns or dressings; the wings are brownish yellow, and the thorax and abdomen are sometimes black. The insects build relatively large nests in the form of horizontally arranged honeycombs in hollow trees or abandoned burrows. Each nest contains up to 500 cells. As they build their honeycombs, the insects eat away at the bark of trunks and branches of various trees and shrubs, frequently causing them to dry out. They feed mainly on other insects, including honeybees; they also suck sap from tree wounds and nectar from flowers and eat fruits and berries.

Members of the genus carry dysentery and other infectious diseases. A sting from these wasps can be very dangerous, resulting in edema, fainting, and general asphyxia. The genus embraces approximately 20 species, which are distributed in Eurasia and North Africa. Eight of these are found in the USSR. Vespa crabro is found in the European section of the USSR and in Siberia, Vespa orientalis in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, and several species, including the largest, Vespa mandarina, in the Far East.

REFERENCE

Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 3, Moscow, 1969.

G. M. DLUSSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
Vespa Philippines' free safety riding course is timely as President Duterte recently cited the worsening lack of discipline among riders and the rising number of motorcycle related accidents as a result.
The Vespa Club Limassol will celebrate its first five years on Saturday with the start of an exhibition at Beat Bazaar that go on a motorbike ride through the past.
Driving Vespas at high speeds in traffic is reckless--something the company will be unable to monitor.
Hence the Vespa name - Italian for wasp - was created.
Riding his electric blue Vespa GTS 300 across Belgium, France, Italy and the former Yugsolavia, the father-of-three will camp and cook by the roadside.
In the summer of 1966 I was a member of the Coventry Vespa Club.
Some might even have headed for the Spanish hills like Gemma Bowes who took to two wheels on a Vespa tour around the mountains north of Madrid.
This doesn't make the Vespa a girl's bike - men have always loved them too for their 'dolce vita' style and practicality.
Our picture, taken at Edinburgh Castle yesterday, recreates one taken nearly 60 years ago of the city's Italian Vespa Club.
Modern editions of the bike have center-mounted engines, as opposed to the unbalanced side-mounted ones of vintage Vespas (which remain quite popular and can be found readily on eBay and other Internet sites at reasonable prices).
Vespas (Italian for "wasp") were introduced in 1946 by Italian military aircraft manufacturer Piaggio, seeking to develop a cheap means of transportation for postwar Europe.
Quite how I survived the Roman traffic is neither here nor there - the point is, I was too young to ride a 125cc Vespa, but my boyfriend did.