Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: type of bee, wasp or hornet
Location: brooklyn, ny
April 6, 2013 10:18 am
brooklyn, nyelp me identify this? Found it in the winter mulch in one of my garden beds today as I started cleaning up for spring.
I didn’t move much, cleaned head and wings, took a few steps here and there, seemed interested in the wood chips.
Signature: thanks!

Queen Baldfaced Hornet

Queen Baldfaced Hornet

This is a queen Baldfaced Hornet and she is probably chewing wood into pulp in order to construct a paper nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: mass of bugs on downed sycamore
Location: Baltimore, MD
August 20, 2012 11:08 pm
I noticed masses of this bug on a sycamore that had been downed by a recent storm. This part of the tree was leaning, not on the ground. The tree is located in a park in woods near freshwater wetland.
I’ve included one photo with a bee to provide size comparison.
Thanks.
Signature: Martha

Giant Bark Aphids and Yellow Jacket

Hi Martha,
You have submitted photos of Giant Bark Aphids,
Longistigma caryae, and here is what we learned about them on BugGuide:  “This is the largest aphid in North America with adults averaging about 1/4 inch long. They also have long legs which makes them appear even larger. Males and some females are winged but egg laying females are wingless. They are brown with black markings (giving them somewhat of a mottled appearance) and have short, black cornicles. When alive they are often partially covered with a bluish white, waxy secretion.  BugGuide continues:  “Activity usually begins in late April in Oklahoma. An adult female gives birth to live young and a colony is formed on the underside of the branches of the host tree. Several generations occur during the summer and fall. Activity continues into mid-November in some years. Late in the fall females lay eggs in bark crevices or on the smooth bark of smaller limbs. The eggs are yellow when laid but later turn black. They are the overwintering stage.”  Sycamore is listed on BugGuideas a host plant and the complete list of host plants is:  “American elm, pin oak, live oak, post oak, blackjack oak, pecan, hickory, sycamore, and golden rain tree. Other trees which might be infested include maple, basswood, birch, beech, walnut, chestnut, and willow.”  We suspect the felled tree was oozing sap which attracted the Yellow Jacket.

Giant Bark Aphids

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: European Hornet eating Dragonfly
Location: Westfield, NJ, USA
July 16, 2012 10:58 am
My own internet research led me from my initial suspicion of ”Cicada Killer” to a more accurate labeling of ”European Hornet.” I pulled into my driveway in Westfield, NJ, got out of the car, and heard a strange buzzing/flapping noise. The dragonfly was on its back, struggling, with the hornet clinging to its thorax. By the time I got batteries in the camera, the battle was over, and the hornet was butchering its catch, presumably taking pieces back to the hive.
I have more photos, and even videos of the carnage! If you’re interested, check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/53449201@N06/sets/72157630604296946/
This was an amazing event. I had to leave before the hornet was done with its work, and when I returned home an hour later, all that remained was all four wings of the dragonfly, attached to a tiny piece of thorax exoskeleton! I saved them in a tupperware.
Signature: Jordan

European Hornet kills Dragonfly

Hi Jordan,
This is not the first time we have received documentation of a European Hornet preying upon a Dragonfly.  Since the European Hornet is an introduced species and since we doubt there are many natural predators of Dragonflies in the insect world, the cumulative effects of such predation might have negative ramifications on our local Dragonfly populations.  Thanks for your excellent description of the events.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stinging Insect
Location: Black River Falls, WI
July 13, 2012 2:39 pm
What is this? I want to say yellow jacket, but I haven’t seen a nest or anything that would help identify it. I appologize for it being dead and slightly squashed. It did sting my daughter after my son got stung by a different one. We were outside for not even 5 minutes, just kicking a ball around when my son suddenly screamed get it off of me. I did try to find it on your site, but I was having issues finding an exact pattern match.
Signature: Dani

Widow Yellowjacket

Hi Dani,
We agree that this is a Yellowjacket, but we cannot be certain of the species.  The facial markings look similar to the Common Aerial Yellowjacket,
Dolichovespula arenaria, that is pictured on BugGuide, but we would rather have someone with more experience with Yellowjackets provide a definitive species identification.  We would also note that perhaps the most similar looking species is the Widow Yellowjacket, Vespula vidua, also represented on Bugguide.  Like other social wasps, Yellowjackets will defend a nest.  If both of your children were stung, there is a good chance that there is a nest nearby.  The nest of the Common Aerial Yellowjacket is usually above ground, often in trees, while the nest of the Widow Yellowjacket is often subterranean.

Widow Yellowjacket

was alot easier to find one that matched exact with the names. http://bugguide.net/node/view/439802  http://bugguide.net/node/view/447483
It looks exactly like these ones.  If I can find the nest, I’ll be sure to take some good photos for you.  It doesn’t look like you have many.
are they generally aggressive?  we really weren’t making a whole lot of noise.

We are happy to hear that in your opinion, the Yellowjackets are Widow Yellowjackets, a name BugGuide indicates is a result of the greater black areas in this species:  .  It is our experience that Yellowjackets are often curious about people, especially during picnics when there are trash cans nearby with fatty or sweet foods.  We have not had personal contact near a nest, but it is our understanding that they can be very aggressive if they feel the nest is being threatened.  I think the answer will be very clear to you when you discover where the nest is.  You should avoid the area.  The colony will die out with the frost and cold weather, and only new queens will survive to create a new colony elsewhere.  Some species of Yellowjackets in warmer climates have a nest that will last for several years instead of being an annual community.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: habitat?
Location: Mathews, VA, USA
May 29, 2012 6:09 am
This is on my porch. The tube is flimsy and moves with the wind. I don’t see any bugs fly to it or arouund it. Do you know what it is?
Signature: Gloria

Hornet Nest

Hi Gloria,
Our initial thought was that this must be the first phase of the construction of the nest of a Bald Faced Hornet.  We did some research and came upon this At The Water blog that supports our theory.  Probably the queen is the only inhabitant at the moment, but she is likely raising her first generation of workers that will increase the size of the nest.  By the end of the summer, there could be more than 1000 Bald Faced Hornets in the nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Southern Yellowjacket queen
Location: North Central Indiana
April 5, 2012 12:43 pm
Last night I saw this thing crawling across my sofa out of the corner of my eye. It was quite large and I thought it was a Cicada Killer. But since it didn’t match any photos I found online I kept searching. I finally found my answer this morning: Southern Yellowjacket Queen. She was still where I left her on the window when I got up this morning so I put her outside where she crawled underneath my house near the front door. I hope she doesn’t start a hive there once she has finished hibernating. Thought you would enjoy these photos!
Signature: Emily

Southern Yellowjacket Queen

Hi Emily,
We agree with your identification.  This description on BugGuide agrees with your photo:  “This species is highly distinctive and unmistakable. All castes possess conspicuous yellow longitudinal stripes on the mesoscutum, a trait shared with the closely-related allopatric Vespula sulphurea but no species within its range. The queens and workers are dimorphic. Workers and males have similar abdominal patterns, with no free spots and an unusual pair of lateral yellow stripes through the black basal band of the second tergite. Queens of this species are quite large for a yellowjacket, with orange fascia on the abdomen expanded to nearly obliterate the dark markings.”  This photo of a queen from BugGuideis a very close match to your individual.  Thank you for doing all the research prior to sending your photos.

Southern Yellowjacket Queen

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination