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Photo#1026021
Yellow wasp-hornet of some kind? - Vespula squamosa

Yellow wasp-hornet of some kind? - Vespula squamosa
New Braunfels, Comal county County, Texas, USA
December 10, 2014
Size: body ~2.5cm long
I encountered this average sized wasp under a piece of wood behind our house. It was in a hole with a snail and crawled out when I lifted up the piece of wood. The body was similar in length to the paper wasps we more regularly see, but noticeably bulkier. The markings are not like any I've seen either. I wonder if it might be some type of hornet. It did not appear to be able to fly as its wings vibrated when it was disturbed, but it never left the ground. It also never appeared to be aggressive. I have never seen a wasp like this one and would greatly appreciate help identifying this rather handsome insect. Thank you in advance!!!

About the picture of Vespula squamosa queen
My name is Yuichi Izawa. I’m a researcher of wasps in Japan. It is very precious to find Vl. squamosa queen hibernating. Vl. squamosa doesn’t live in Japan. I would like to know hibernating habit of Vl. squamosa. Now, I have a favor. Could I ask you some questions about your nice photo of Vl. squamosa queen? I would appreciate hearing from you.
Q1: Was the queen clinging to the undersurface of the wood?
In Japan, most wasps cling to the undersurface of the object.
Q2: Was the posture of the queen in a horizontal direction?
In Japan, most wasps are found in a horizontal direction.
Q3: How much size was the hole where queen was inside?
In Japan, most wasps are found in an egg-shaped small room.
Q4: How much size was the wood?
In Japan, there are no wasps that hibernate under a wood.
I’m not good at English. So, there must be wrong and rude expression in my sentence. Please forgive me if so. I am looking forward to your reply.

 
Hello
Hello Mr. Izawa. In America, Vespula squamosa is a very opportunistic species which can adapt to many situations. They can nest in many places and do not have strict rules for hibernation. They can hibernate in holes under the ground, under bark, or in any enclosed cavity. I have found some hibernating in a cardboard box in my garage. I hope this information helps you with your research. We also have a species here called Dolichovespula maculata, which is interesting because it always hibernates in a cavity it chews inside dead wood, unlike Vespula squamosa which can hibernate anywhere. Here is a picture:


氏伊沢こんにちは。アメリカでは、 Vespulaのsquamosaは、多くの状況に適応することができ非常に日和見種である。彼らは多くの場所で巣をすることができ、休止状態のための厳格なルールを持っていません。彼らは樹皮の下で、地面の下の穴で冬眠、または任意の囲まれたキャビティ内にすることができます。私は私のガレージで段ボール箱にいくつかの冬眠を発見した。私はこの情報があなたの研究であなたを助けます願っています。それは常に空洞内に冬眠ので、我々はまた、内部のどこにでも休止できVespulaのsquamosaとは異なり、枯死木を、咀嚼興味深いここにDolichovespulaマクラタと呼ばれる種を、持っている。ここに絵は、次のとおりです。

 
Thank you very much for your information.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful information and writing in Japanese too. In Japan, all of hornets and Yellow Jackets have strict habit of hibernation. But, Vl. squamosa don’t have strict rules for hibernation. It’s very interesting for me. Now I really would like to know about the hibernation habit of Vl. squamosa. Can I ask you some questions? I would be extremely grateful if you could answer my questions.

1: When Vl. squamosa queen hibernates under the ground, does she make a hole by herself or crawl into an existing hole?
2: When Vl. squamosa queen hibernates under bark, does she make a hole by herself or crawl into an existing hole?
3: Does “any enclosed cavity” mean an existing hole?
4: Does “hibernating in a cardboard box” mean that Vl. squamosa queens hibernate in an existing hole?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

 
Hello
the wasp was not clinging to the underside of the wood.
I don't remember what direction the wasp was facing, honestly
The hole was just slightly bigger than she was
The piece of wood was large, probably approx. 2m long

 
Thank you very much for your reply.
Thank you so much for your reply. And I am terribly sorry for the delay in my reply. I thought and gave up that there was not the answer, so I haven’t been look at this site. That’s why that my answer is so late. Please, permit it.
Your information is very helpful for me. Especially, I was surprised that the wood was much bigger than I thought. And I think it is very important that it was obvious that Vl. squamosa made a hole.
I am most grateful. I pray for your continued success.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

 
Thank you
For moving this to the guide for me!

Not quite a hornet...
..but close. This is a queen southern yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa. She was hibernating under that wood. She wasn't aggressive because she had no nest to defend-wasps attack only in defense of their nests.

 
Thank you!!
Thank you so much for the ID and info! I'm glad she wasn't aggresive. Getting stung would not have been pleasant!

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