What animals eat wasps?

Written by g.d. palmer
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What animals eat wasps?
Despite their ability to sting, wasps can still be targeted by some animals. (Getty Thinkstock)

Wasps are primarily predators, and consume a wide range of insects and other invertebrates, as well as nectar, tree sap and other sweets. However, wasps are not immune to predation themselves. These relatives of bees are eaten by a number of other creatures, including birds and some mammals. Some animals even destroy whole wasp colonies.

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Mammals

Mammals, such as the European badger, consume wasps and destroy wasp nests to get at the comb, filled with immature wasps and eggs. These animals have thick fur that makes it much harder for the wasps to sting them. In the early stages, mice, weasels and stoats may also destroy wasp colonies.

Birds

According to Landcare Research, at least 24 species of birds are known to eat wasps. These species mostly include smaller birds, such as the starling, magpie and blackbird. Birds primarily eat individual wasps, instead of attacking wasp nests themselves.

Invertebrates

Insect predators will happily eat wasps, despite the danger of their sting. Praying mantises kill and consume wasps, as do robber flies. Larger wasp relatives, such as the hornet, may also kill and eat wasps. Spiders may catch wasps in their webs, or pluck them from the air to suck out their juices. Centipedes and dragonflies have also been known to eat wasps.

Lizards

Lizards, including a number of gecko species, can catch and eat even very large wasps. Their ability to move quickly keeps the wasps from stinging in most cases. Unguarded wasp nests may even be subject to reptile attacks. According to New Scientist, lizards sometimes eat the entire wasp nest in order to get to the larvae inside.

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