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

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, 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

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Nest to ID if possible. - Dolichovespula

Nest to ID if possible. - Dolichovespula
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
April 26, 2006
Would appreciate knowing who builds nests like this one. I didn't see any wasps around as it was probably an old one taken in April. It was not very large.

Moved from Dolichovespula.

A so-called Yellowjacket "Queen-nest"
Built by the lone foundress in spring. This one was abandoned before the first workers emerge and the colony would start, a fate most of these queen-nests know since most foundresses die accidentally or by bird predation.
The paper IS grey rather than tan, and anyway many foundresses of vulgaris and related species build queen-nests with predominantly grey envelopes. More important, the nest is aerial in an open location, hence this is almost certainly one of a Dolichovespula species (Moreover, Vespula foundresses rarely, if ever, build such a "bottleneck" at the - lower - entrance).
An ID to the species level is not possible without knowing exactly the size, namely the breadth of paper stripes of different colors. D. maculata, according to its large size, makes much broader ones than D. arenaria.

Nest ID
Thank you both for all this information. I appreciate it very much.

vespula vulgaris...dont know which yellowjacket realy. A dolichovespula nest would be grey.
It looks like the photo was taken early in spring..was it?

This is an early nest of Dolichovespula Maculata
you can tell by the size of the paper strips used by the queen. They are thicker in D.maculata and thinner in D.arenaria a sympatric species. Note also it would seem that the queen was ready to add the "tube" another characterisic of early D.Maculata nests

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.