Key Differences between German and common Wasps
German and common wasps are very similar in appearance. The dorsal markings on the abdomen have often been used to distinguish these two species in New Zealand. However, these markings are variable and are not always accurate. The marking on the side of the head and face are more reliable.
Common wasps are very efficient at harvesting honeydew have consequently displaced German wasps from honeydew beech forest. Common wasps collect honeydew at a faster rate than German wasps, and spend less time lapping honeydew (which has often fermented) from the trunk when the standing crop of honeydew is low, so that fewer of them become lethargic and less effective feeders.