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W*H*Y Wednesday: The Forest Yellowjacket

Today's featured species, as we close out 2008, is the Forest Yellowjacket, Vespula acadica.

Acadica_Forest_YJ This species is known to have three different marking patterns. Many will resemble the Northeastern Yellowjacket with a solid black band across the upper portion of the abdomen; though the majority will have two yellow or brown spots on this black band. Most rarely observed are the specimens without the black band and more yellow coloration on the abdomen. Their stout bodies measure roughly a half-inch in length like most other yellowjacket species.

The Forest Yellowjackets' habitat is, naturally, in heavily forested areas. The highlighted portion of the map below shows where they are found in the U.S.:

Forest_yellowjacket

Forest Yellowjacket colonies last for one year. They are predators of live prey only, such as flies, caterpillars, hemipterans and aphids.

Forest Yellowjackets typically build aerial nests, but subterranean nests in logs are not uncommon. This species usually has smaller colonies, with fewer than 500 workers.

Nature toward humans: Because this species is primarily found in more heavily forested areas, the Forest Yellowjacket has limited contact with humans. If the nest is disturbed, Forest Yellowjackets will sting aggressively and persistently.

WHYTR_200dpi Good news if you have this species in your back yard: the new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets from RESCUE! will catch Forest Yellowjackets!

And even more good news: We shipped our first truckload of W*H*Y Traps yesterday, and more are on the way in coming weeks.

Thanks for following us, and Happy New Year, readers!

December 31, 2008 in Entomology, Science, WHY Trap, Yellowjackets | Permalink

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