Yes, we have native wasps in New Zealand!
Unfortunately we also have a handful of introduced social wasps. The introduced wasps prey on native invertebrates and create a nuisance (especially for people who are allergic to their stings). But our native wasps do not live together in colonies and they do not sting. They are parasitoid wasps: a very diverse and important group, and we are just beginning to unravel the complex relationships they have with other species here in New Zealand.
During my masters research I caught 61 species of parasitoid wasps from the group I was interested in (the Ichneumonidae). Fifty-six of these species are represented here. You’ll notice most are given a ‘first name’ and then ‘sp.#’ – This means we know the first name (the genus), and we know it is a species, but it is not yet described as a species. Most of our invertebrates are like this because there are so many species and so few people to describe and name them.
All images are © Landcare Research (and released under a CC-BY 4.0 license). I took these during my masters research supervised by Dr Darren Ward. Feel free to reuse them to the full extent permitted by the CC-BY license.