Male Baldfaced Hornet
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Male Baldfaced Hornet

Photo Details
September 29, 2005, Alpine Loop, Utah County, Utah  ©Nicky Davis

Family Tree
Order: Hymenoptera  Family: Vespidae (True Wasps)  Sub-family: Vespinae  Genus: Dolichovespula  Species: maculata

Black body with 3 white segments on rear. They make a gray-paery football shaped nest in spring that they defend vigorously and will sting repeatedly if disturbed.  Every year the new queen builds a new colony.  The workers expand the nest by chewing up wood that mixes with a starch in their saliva, which they spread with their mandibles and legs to dry into paper. The workers also guard the nest and collect nectar and arthropods to feed the larvae. This continues through summer and into fall. As winter approaches, the wasps die, except for young fertilized queens which hibernate underground or in hollow trees