Vespula pensylvanica (Saussure, 1857)

Vespinae, Vespidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

Matthew P. Kweskin

2 Feb 1997

Common Name- The Western yellowjacket

Identification- V. pensylvanica is yellow and black. This is the only species which has a complete yellow eye ring around each compound eye. The queens also have this eye ring.

Geography- V. pensylvanica is found only in the Western half of temperate North America (even though the specific name is "pensylvanica").

Natural History (Akre et al., 1980)- The nests of V. pensylvanica are mostly subterranean, often in old rodent burrows. The nests can be large, up to 11,000 cells. This species takes live prey as well as scavenging. V. pensylvanica becomes a pest in the Northwest U.S. when there are outbreaks of high populations every few years.

Page author: Matthew P. Kweskin
Last modified: 2 Feb 1997