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 Western Yellowjacket - Vespula pensylvanica

Western Yellowjacket - Vespula pensylvanica
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
November 9, 2009
Size: ~1"
I thought this might be a Western Yellowjacket but the long anteni are causing me to reconsider and any input would be most helpful. I Took this picture a couple days ago, the insects were on a mostly dead flower bush and the temperature was a chilly 3 degrees celcius.

Images of this individual: tag all
 Western Yellowjacket - Vespula pensylvanica Yellowjacket  - Vespula pensylvanica

Moved from ID Request.

Yes, V. pensylvanica
Long antennae indicate that this is a male specimen

This is an example of the only acceptation to the "complete yellow ring around each eye" rule. Males sometimes lack it, like the one in your photo

I think this may in fact be a Common Aerial Yellowjacket. Check, in the 2nd photo, the distance between the eye and the mandible.

My mistake
This one slipped past me. I saw the the pattern on the T1 and instantly thought pensylvanica. I apologise for not looking closer and slipping up

But you did no mistake at all
this is indeed a - very dark, true - Western Yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica) male.
First, there is no pronotal carina, hence the yellow fork of the humeral stripe, typical of D. arenaria, is missing as well.
Second, the diamond shaped central black spot on urotergite I is the unmistakable hallmark of V. pensylvanica.
And third - as correctly stated below - D. arenaria colonies aren't active any more that late in the season, contrary to members of the Vespula vulgaris group. Males aerial are virtually all dead by early october.
Oculo-malar space is not a very reliable feature among males. Nonetheless, a Dolichovespula male would have a distinctly longer one.

A question of seaseons
From readings it would seem that this would be an extremely late record for the Common Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria). From several sources the latest on record is September whereas this individual (and some others) were seen Nov 9. So the question being do Dolichovespula arenaria males show up later in the year?

In general both queens and males show up later in the season. It is a late sighting.

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