|Common Nicknames||Devilstingers, Yellowcoats|
Wasps are a constant species of insect native to the world of Aloria. Known since its earliest days as a pest and an irritant for those of all classes, the wasp has maintained this view into modern-day Aloria. They vary in size, with several subspecies, and can be confused with Bees. However, to many, Wasps are far nastier and unpleasant to look at and more importantly, to interact with.
Wasps have existed across Aloria for millennia, and have often been reviled. While early Altalar saw the importance of the creatures, their ascension to slave-owners and vaunted masters of the world caused them to hate the creatures with a passion as an irritant. Slaves similarly grew to dislike Wasps, forced to fan them away from their masters or deal with them in the wild, often producing supposedly worse injuries than those given by Bees. In subsequent centuries, Wasps remained unliked, with wider Aloria coming to often hold the same opinion as those of the Altalar and Ailor. Due to their spread across Aloria, this species of insect survived the Cataclysm and has remained present ever since then. Today, most of Aloria sees the animal as a pest, and their hives are routinely destroyed when they are discovered in rural or urban areas, especially if one has been built in and around actively used housing.
There are several subspecies of Wasp, each being quite distinguishable from the other in terms of appearance. That said, there is a number of basic characteristics that is present in all known varieties of the species. Firstly, their body has three segments; the head, thorax and abdomen, like other insect species. The head features large compound eyes, a pair of antennae and a proboscis for feeding, though it is masked by a pair of mandibles that also sits on the face. Six segmented legs and a single pair of small, thin insect wings are attached to the thorax, which is the segment in between the abdomen and the head. Compared to Bees, Wasp abdomens are often more narrow and pointed, in addition to their legs often being longer and much thinner, without the fibers Bee legs tend to have for picking up pollen.
Most Wasps have a rigid and obvious gender hierarchy based on their hives, which also manifests as obvious gender differences. In most of the species, there are three castes: the queen and her brood, workers, and drones. Queens hold the position of leadership and are larger than those Wasps around them. They help the nest to reproduce, have different colored markings than those around them, and often stay fairly still while around them, the wider hive scrambles in their work. From here, almost all members of the hive emerge. Then there are the workers and the drones. Workers are females who tend to the nest and its expansion, feeding larvae, collecting building materials, and more. Drones, on the other hand, are all male, and serve to fertilize the queen when it is needed but also to defend the hive. Below can be found a listing of the various subspecies of Wasp in Aloria.
- Yellow/Common Wasp: The Yellow Wasp has the widest reach of all species, existing on most temperate and humid continents of Aloria, save most of Hadaria due to the regional dominance of the unique Hadar Wasp. They have an obvious yellow and black striped pattern to their bodies, and build hives using wood and other plant materials.
- Mudflat/Potter Wasp: The Mudflat Wasp is one of the oldest species of insect in Aloria, forming its individual nests from mud and forming an amphora or pot-shaped structures. Additionally, they resist the mentality of other Wasps and lack queens or large scale societies of any sort, instead raising and hatching larvae in their own nests. Further exploration of the species is limited, and while they do exist in tropical regions (mostly tropical Daen and Corontium), they remain an enigma to scholars. They have dark brown and black colorations on their bodies.
- Sand Wasp: The Sand Wasp is another strange species that, instead of using plant matter to build their nests, live in the ground like Ants might. They too lack the monarchy of Potter Wasps and instead tend to live in groups out of a mutual desire to survive, with no one leader among them. They have a green tint to their compound eyes and a red coloration to their limbs, and an-off brown and yellow pattern to their bodies, with dark-toned instead of translucent wings. They live in Farah’deen, southern Essalonia, and some areas of wider Aloria.
- Sihai Wasp: Sihai Wasps are very similar to the Yellow Wasp both in coloration and size. However, they are far more spindly and narrow. Their legs are all very thin while their bodies are extremely compressed, with their abdomens having a very narrow portion to them in addition to a smaller, more narrow and longer shape. Their heads are also smaller. The species also apparently varies based on the region of Zhong they exist in, being fully black in more northern and western territories and more patterned with yellow in the southern and eastern territories.
Life Span and Development
The different Wasp subspecies have an array of different development cycles and periods of life, but they do share some commonalities. They are born as tiny white ovular eggs, and are placed into a cell of their nests or hives to mature. During that time, they are fed and cared for, but they are also most vulnerable at this stage. Other insects are known to enter these nests and ingest them, though the insects do tend to sting and bite such an offender to death rather fast. However, once they reach a certain stage, they morph into pupae before finally emerging as full-grown Wasps. This process takes anywhere from one week to two, and at that point, the gender they were assigned at birth dictates their role in their survival. Queens live up to several years, while the other castes die around them when the winter comes, even in tropical or temperate zones. As a result, queens have a ravenous appetite when first awakened in the spring, resulting in more than a few underlings being eaten due to a lack of food. However, some hives and nests can survive the cold weather and when this happens, the nest generally grows stronger and larger than before.
Wasps have a highly organized mentality that helps to govern their species and keep them intact. They fulfill their purposes efficiently and to the best of their ability regardless of their role. In traditional structures of the species, workers scavenge for food and resources, drones defend the nest, sometimes to the death, and the queen lives for the sole purpose of order and reproduction. Beyond these mindsets, Wasps appear to be fairly mindless in their everyday tasks, with their “creativity” in building unique nests and hives being moreso a development of nature as the most efficient construct possible for their reproductive habits.
Territory and Groupings
Wasps are strange in that unlike Bees, who largely exist as colonies and only colonies, certain subspecies can exist alone and separate from a group. Regardless, for most Wasps, nests of their species number anywhere up to 300 specimens, but the largest can hold about 500. Wasps are territorial of their nests and will attack those approaching them, and especially those who have disturbed them.
- Wasps, unlike Bees, don’t die when they sting, further making them disliked.