You might know that we in New Zealand have large populations of the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris. But we have no idea where these wasps came from. Using genetic techniques we can compare the New Zealand populations to the native range and make a “best guess” as to their area of origin. Such knowledge could help with future attempts to find biological control agents, etc. I'm after samples of workers - or even a single worker wasp - to send to New Zealand.
Just one worker that you find in on your house windowsill or on a flower would be fine. I’ll need these in 90% ethanol, but I can send people a vial or vials with ethanol. Samples could remain in a freezer until you receive the vials. I’m sampling from throughout Europe, so if you see any while on your travels I’d love those too. I’m happy to provide vials and pay for postage and other costs incurred. Each wasp and vial will have its own label with location detail, the collection date and collector name. All written in pencil if possible. There is also a letter to permit samples coming into the New Zealand that I can send.
If you find a German wasp (Vespula germanica) that would be great too.
I'm planning on doing the genetic work starting in December, so there is plenty of time between now and then and no need to hurry to collect samples or quickly dig through preserved specimens. I can send over vials a self addressed envelope.
Thanks for your time! Sincerely,
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.