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Social Wasps

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Wasps have a distinct head with chewing mouth parts, short elbowed antennae, and large compound eyes. The thorax and abdomen are marked with yellow, red or brown on a black background. The wasps have four clear or smokey brown wings and a long stinger. Yellow jackets are usually marked with bright yellow and black patterns and are about 3/8 to 5/8 inches long. The baldfaced hornet is similar in appearance except that is is white and black and 5/8 to 3/4 inch long. Paper wasps are marked with yellow, brown or red patterns on black and are 5/8 to 3/4 inch long.

Order/Family

Vespula maculate (Linnaeus) & Polistes spp.

Scientific Name

Hymenoptere/Vespidae

Biology

Social wasps have large nests containing three types of individuals, or castes: queens, workers, and males. Eggs are laid in the cells of the nest, and the young larvae are fed bits of chewed up meat or insect parts by the queen and later by the workers.

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