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Photo#9250
Common Aerial Yellowjacket - queen - Dolichovespula arenaria - female

Common Aerial Yellowjacket - queen - Dolichovespula arenaria - Female
Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada
August 30, 2004
This looks similar to Vincent's photo in the Guide but the black "peninsula" shapes have become separated into "islands" - like the spots on a german yellowjacket. Is this one Dolichovespula arenaria?

Images of this individual: tag all
Common Aerial Yellowjacket - queen - Dolichovespula arenaria - female Aerial Yellowjacket - 2 - Dolichovespula arenaria

Yes!
Really nice image of Dolichovespula arenaria, the "aerial yellow jacket" or "sandhills hornet." Classic pattern with the interrupted yellow line at base of abdomen, and spots eventually separating from the black bands as the abdominal segments progress to the posterior. Like bald-faced "hornets," these are predators of flies, and very non-aggressive unless the nest is disturbed.

 
aerial yellowjacket
Thanks for the confirmation, Eric.

 
Queen?
This might be a queen aerial yellowjacket. Queen aerial yellowjackets have free (totally separated from the stripes) black spots like a German yellowjacket (as this picture shows) while workers do not (as in #6209). However the queens I've seen have free black spots on the second segment. I've never seen one quite like this, with spots on all BUT the second segment. I've never seen a D. arenaria worker with this many free spots.

How big was this wasp? Was it "typical" yellowjacket size or was it larger?

 
size
I estimate its length at 14-16 mm; I don't know if that's "typical" or not.