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Southern Yellowjacket - Vespula squamosa - male

Southern Yellowjacket - Vespula squamosa - Male
Frenchman's Forest Natural Area, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA
January 30, 2004

Vespula squamosa - male
Thanks to the quality of this picture, thirteen antennal segments are clearly visible on the left antenna, so there is no doubt left. I agree with Bug Eric that the abdomen looks like a worker's, but it's mainly because of the small grass and the right folded wings, which are hiding the rear end of it. Anyway, the sexual dimorphism is not so strong in this species, compared with the vulgaris group. However, the head is much less stout than a worker's (compare, for example, with nr. 9663), and lacks the special V shaped color-pattern behind the ocelli, that is typical for females and workers of the southern yellowjacket.
That the very mild winters of Florida allow yellowjacket males to survive until a January 31 is noteworthy.

Thanks Richard
For the additional info:)

Dark specimen
Wow, that is an awfully dark specimen. Most are much more yellow in my experience. The antennae are long enough to give me pause and think it might be a male, but the abdomen looks like a worker's.

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