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Hornet - Dolichovespula maculata

Hornet - Dolichovespula maculata
Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois, USA
July 16, 2006
Quite attentive at the compost heap. Frequent hositility between it and the soldier flies. Say it attack an ant that was carrying off a soldier fly carcas but it just gave one "whomp" and then withdrew. Hunting spiders?

Bald-faced 'hornet'
Dolichovespula maculata is actually a large 'yellowjacket' species, not a true hornet. They prey on flies, so it may have been trying to catch the solider fly.

Japanese beetles as prey for Dolichovespula maculata?
I have noticed for the past several summers Japanese beetles swarming over the blackberry bushes and peach trees in my yard in Stokesdale, NC (NW Guilford county). I have to spray them with Sevin to get their numbers down so they don't completely defoliate these plants. However, this summer just as their numbers started increasing, I spotted a soccer-ball size paper nest being constructed on a red oak branch by baldheaded hornets (Dolichovespula maculata). The nest was located within 2 to 10 meters of the blackberry bushes and peach trees. I left the nest alone. It may be pure coincidence, but the numbers of Japanese beetles never rose, and in fact, they completely disappeared. I viewed many of the excellent photographs of Dolichovespula maculata taken by contributors to BugGuide and saw that these wasps attack and eat a variety of insects. Does anyone know whether Japanese beetles are prey for these wasps?

If so . . .
. . . it was a clumsy hunter. Thanks for the confo and info.

looks to me like you have a baldfaced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata.

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