Content tagged with "wasp"

Bald-Faced Hornet

image of Bald-faced Hornet on Goldenrod
Dolichovespula maculata
Bald-faced hornets are fairly large wasps that are primarily black, with white or ivory markings on the face, thorax, and toward the tip of the abdomen. The large, rounded, papery, gray nests of this social insect are frequently seen in natural history displays. More

Bald-Faced Hornet Face

Photo of bald-faced hornet face as it peeks out from hole in nest
There’s a reason they’re called bald-faced hornets: Although they are mostly black, these wasps have white or ivory markings on their faces. More

Bald-Faced Hornet Foraging on Goldenrod

image of Bald-faced Hornet on Goldenrod
Adult bald-faced hornets generally eat nectar from flowers, but they also collect insects and other arthropods to chew up and feed to their growing larvae. More

Bald-Faced Hornet In Nest

Photo of bald-faced hornet in nest, showing underside of wasp
Each nest is begun in spring by a single overwintered queen. Late-summer nests may contain several hundred workers, as well as males and new queens. This is a rare view of the underside of a bald-faced hornet as she walks around inside her nest. The photographer was able to capture this image because the nest was built against a glass window. More

Bald-Faced Hornet Nest

Photo of bald-faced hornet nest
In winter after leaf-fall, look up into trees for old nests, which are large, rounded, papery, and gray. The nests of this social insect are frequently seen in natural history displays. More

Bald-Faced Hornet Nest Built On House

Photo of bald-faced hornet nest built on house
Bald-faced hornet nests are usually built high in trees, or in shrubs, but occasionally they are built on human buildings. Aggressive nest defense makes these wasps a stinging threat, but like all wasps, bald-faced hornets do much that benefits human interests and should not be destroyed indiscriminately. More

Bald-Faced Hornet Nest Interior, Showing Paper Layers

Photo of interior of bald-faced hornet nest showing paper layers
Bald-faced hornet nests are made of wood pulp (literally paper). These wasps chew wood, mixing it with starches in their saliva, and use this substance to construct the nest. Nests eventually have several layers of horizontal comb enclosed by an outer envelope. More

Bald-Faced Hornet Nest Opening

Photo of opening to bald-faced hornet nest
The colonies of social insects such as these have been called “superorganisms”: The division of labor is greatly specialized, individuals cannot survive on their own, and it takes the efforts of the entire colony in order to reproduce itself. More

Black Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Female)

image of Black Giant Ichneumon Wasp on tree trunk
The black giant ichneumon wasp, Megarhyssa atrata, belongs to a genus called the “giant ichneumons.” The female’s body can be 1½ inches long, and her ovipositor 5 inches long. The larvae parasitize the larvae of wood-boring insects. Look for this species in deciduous forests. More