Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Vespula acadica - Forest Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket - Vespula acadica - male Yellowjacket - Vespula acadica - male Vespula acadica - female Yellowjacket Wasp - Vespula acadica V. pensylvanica? - Vespula acadica - female   - Vespula acadica   - Vespula acadica Vespula infernalis?? - Vespula acadica
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Vespoidea (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies)
Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps)
Subfamily Vespinae (Hornets and Yellowjackets)
Genus Vespula (Ground Yellowjackets)
Species acadica (Forest Yellowjacket)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Vespa rufa var. americana du Buysson, 1905 (this name, despite being the oldest, is invalid because of homonymy)
Vespa acadica Sladen, 1918.
Vespula rufa var. sladeni Bequeart, 1932.(1)
Explanation of Names
The specific name acadica is possibly a reference to the French colonial region of Acadia, including portions of Maritime Canada, Quebec, and Maine.
Key to eastern Nearctic Vespula species in the Identification Atlas of the Vespidae of the Northeastern Nearctic Region.(2)
Key to Nearctic Vespinae genera in the Identification Atlas of the Vespidae of the Northeastern Nearctic Region. (2)

Queen (♀♀) Worker (♀) Male (♂)
Widespread in forests of Canadian zone (and edges of Hudsonian and Transition zones) from Alaska south to Sierras of California and in Rockies south to Arizona and New Mexico. Ranges east across boreal forest to Newfoundland and New England, extending south at higher elevations of Appalachians to North Carolina.(1), (3)
Primarily boreal and northern forests.(3)
Adults feed on nectar and other fluids. Larvae are fed masticated arthropods by adults. This species is a member of the Vespula rufa species group, and is strictly predatory.(3)
Print References
Kimsey, L.S. & Carpenter, J.M. (2012): The Vespinae of North America (Vespidae, Hymenoptera). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 28: 37–65; doi: 10.3897/JHR.28.3514.
Internet References
Species page in
Works Cited
1.Checklist of the species of the subfamily Vespinae (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
Carpenter, James M., and Jun-ichi Kojima. 1997. Nat. Hist. Bulletin of Ibaraki Univ. 1:51-92.
2.Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the Northeastern Nearctic Region
Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K. B. Cheung. 2008. Biological Survey of Canada [Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification].
3.Yellowjackets of America North of Mexico
Akre, R.D., A. Greene, J.F. MacDonald, P.J. Landolt, and H.G. Davis. 1980. U.S. Department of Agriculture.