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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Forest yellowjacket (Vespula acadica)
Forest yellowjacket (Vespula acadica) worker wasp visiting flower. Mendocino County, CA
Photograph by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
FOREST YELLOWJACKET FACTSDescription
The Forest yellowjacket is a black and yellow wasp. The thorax is mostly black with yellow markings, the abdomen is black with narrow black bands, the antennae are black and legs are yellow. A lot of the males and the queens have a pair of yellow or brown spots on the large black band of the abdomen. The wings are smoky brown in color. It usually nests in hollow logs, under logs or in the ground. This species is not a pest as its habitat does not include heavily populated areas. It is similar to the Prairie yellowjacket (V. atropilosa). However, if a colony is disturbed, the worker wasps can be aggressive and sting.
forest, woodland, forested mountain slopes
adults feed on nectar and insects, larvae feed on insects brought into the nest by adults
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.
Vespula acadica is found in most of Canada except the far northern areas. It is found in western United States, south east of Alaska, north eastern parts around the Great Lakes and down the east coast as far as Virginia and North Carolina.
Relatives in same Genus
Prairie yellowjacket (V. atropilosa)
German yellowjacket (V. germanica)
Eastern yellowjacket (V. maculifrons)
Western yellowjacket (V. pensylvanica)
Southern yellowjacket (V. squamosa)