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Vespula maculata

Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet
Vespula maculata
Vespula maculata

Scientific Classification

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

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

The bald-faced hornet is 3/4" long and mainly black in color with a whitish yellow. They are faintly hairy and have a smokey colored wings.

Habitat & Range

These wasps life on forest edges across the United States.


The bald-faced hornet will sting if disturbed. They build hanging paaper nests in trees. They eat nectar and other insects.

Life Cycle

During the fall, females will mate and then overwinter. In the spring they will lay eggs. The hornets that hatch from this will be workers. The female will lay more eggs in the late summer, that will grow into males and future queens.

Featured image by Paul Stein.


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