The genus Provespa comprise of only three species. I am not aware of any official common name for this group, although they are sometimes known as night wasps or night hornets. They are generally smaller than the true hornets (Vespa), and are not as brightly coloured, being mostly a plain brown. They are distributed mainly in tropical Southeast Asia, and are not known from elsewhere.

Provespa are nocturnal wasps, and are sometimes attracted to lights (just as moths are). They are slender brown wasps with enlarged ocelli (the three "simple eyes" on the top of the head), which possibly enables them to see or navigate better in darkness.

Little is known about their biology and nesting habits. Their nests are supposedly greyish or brown structures built in trees and shrubs, and their cryptic appearance makes them extremely difficult to locate. They are supposedly quite unaggressive and quite unlikely to attack, especially since they rest during the day, although workers will reportedly rush to the surface and swarm around if the nest is touched. Their choice of prey is also quite unknown. They have been known to attack flies


Follow the links to descriptions and detailed information of different species.

Back to genus/species info
Back to main Vespid page
Return to where you last were