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Wasp - Vespula squamosa - female

Wasp - Vespula squamosa - Female
Gainesville, Florida, USA
March 15, 2004
Disturbed from under a rock in my yard. Wings vibrating rapidly.

Southern yellow jacket (queen)
This is a queen of the southern yellow jacket, Vespula squamosa. Probably had entered hibernation already. These insects can either found their own colonies, or take over the colonies of the eastern yellow jacket, V. maculifrons (in which case the queen of V. squamosa kills the queen of V. maculifrons and enslaves the workers of that species to raise her own offspring).

Thanks, Eric
I think you're right, that I disturbed her from her hibernation. She seemed to want to retreat back to a hole in the ground.

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