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German yellowjacket male - Vespula germanica - male

German yellowjacket male - Vespula germanica - Male
Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin, USA
October 20, 2005
Same place, same nest, different day, different specimen. This helps show the variation in pattern even between individuals born out of the same nest.

i have yet to find a male of this species....

Nice shots
This one guy looks especially alert, yet you got a good overall view of its color pattern. I guess some individuals with no free spots at all, those on the second segment merging with the central arrow, do also occur in this population.
Your comments about the spreading of V. germanica, and its possible impact on native species, are interesting. It would seem that the newcomer thrives especially well in your Great Lakes region, but much less so in the Atlantic states where V. maculifrons remains dominant - and V. flavopilosa much more frequent than formerly stated. This could have something to do with climatical differences, but could still turn back over a longer period: all species know dramatic fluctuations of abundance, but not necessarily synchrone.

I had a great opportunity to get pictures of V. germanica this summer/fall, as there are 4 nests on the UW-Green Bay campus where I go to school. I plan to dig up the nests when the weather turns colder, and take some pictures of the nest itself (not just the entrance hole). I'll also collect the dead workers from the traps around campus, and photograph a group of them to show different pattern variations side-by-side.

V. germanica is certainly common here in Wisconsin, but it seems to do better in urban areas (such as Green Bay) while the native V. maculifrons is going strong in more rural areas such as the subdivision north of Stoughton where my family's home is.

Say out of every 10 vulgaris group yellowjackets encountered, in a rural area 8 will be maculifrons, and the other 2 germanica, and vice versa for an urban area.