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  • Bald-Faced Hornet - (Dolichovespula maculata)

    Bald-Faced Hornet - (Dolichovespula maculata)

    The Bald-Faced Hornet is black and white and helpful to humans, but keep your distance as you watch them work.




    Staff Writer (8/1/2016): Bald-faced Hornets are related to yellow jackets, but are not "true" hornets themselves. This species features a rather stout body and their markings are more white than yellow. They are mainly black from head, thorax and abdomen and the pattern of white bands and markings is the same for all individuals. Males differ from females somewhat in having an additional white band on the first abdominal segment as well as at the tip. Workers measure between 12 and 15mm while the queen is substantially larger at 18 to 20mm.

    Bald-faced Hornets are considered a beneficial species as they prey on flies and other yellowjackets. Adults will chew flies into a pulp and feed them to their larvae. Adults are also known to feed on nectar and tree sap for themselves. Their habitat ranges from parks and gardens, to forests and meadows.

    Bald-Faced Hornets are extremely aggressive if they, or their nest, is disturbed and they WILL STING REPEATEDLY. Hives are a gray shapely paper-like mass with an opening at the bottom. These football-shaped nests are above ground, usually attached to lower branches of a tree or shrub. Active nests can contain anywhere from 100-400 individuals.

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    Details of the:
    Bald-Faced Hornet


    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Bald-Faced Hornet
    Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Vespidae
           Genus: Dolichovespula
            Species: maculata

    Size (Adult, Length): 12mm to 20mm (0.47in to 0.79in)

    Identifying Colors: black, white, yellow

    Additional Descriptors: bee, white, triangle, harmful, stinging, flying, fat


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.