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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Aerial yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria)




Aerial yellowjacket | Dolichovespula arenaria photo
Aerial yellowjacket (male), taken in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada

Photograph by Gilles Gonthier from Canada. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

AERIAL YELLOWJACKET FACTS

Description
The Aerial yellowjacket is one of the most common yellowjacket wasps in North America. It is a black and yellow wasp with long curved antennae. The head and abdomen are mainly black with some yellow markings; the abdomen is black with narrow yellow bands. The antennae are black and the legs are yellow. The wasps are social and form colonies with a well developed caste system like honey bees. The colony is housed in a papery nest, usually situated above the ground attached to plants or man made structures, and made from wood and saliva. The female hibernates in winter and starts a new colony in spring. These wasps are a pest as they damage fruit crops, and can inflict a painful sting to people.

Size
about 2cm long

Environment
found in various habitats including urban

Food
adult wasps feed on nectar and fruit. The worker ants catch small insects and pulp them for feeding to the larvae.

Breeding
The queen wasp lays her eggs in the nest where they hatch into grub-like larvae. The larvae grow within the nest until they pupate, and after some time, emerge as adult wasps.

Range
Dolichovespula arenaria is found throughout the United States and Canada as far north as the arctic.

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Vespidae
Genus:Dolichovespula
Species:arenaria
Common Name:Aerial yellowjacket


Relatives in same Genus
  Baldfaced hornet (D. maculata)