Baldfaced hornet Dolichovespula maculata Fig 914d h

Workers are 14-18 mm long and black with white markings. The dorsal surfaces of gaster segments 1-3 are entirely black. Nests are usually made in forested or undisturbed areas. In the urban environment, nests are established in ornamental bushes and trees, electric power poles, houses, sheds, and other structures. Nearly all are constructed in exposed locations

Figure 9.14 Hymenoptera: Vespidae. (a) Paravespula maculifrons, head anterior; lateral view of worker; (b) Vespula squamosa, worker; (c) V. consorbina, worker; (d) Dolichovespula maculata, worker; (e) P. maculifrons gaster; (f) V. squamosa; (g) V. consorbina; (h) Dolichovespula maculata.

and initiated in April or May. Reproductives are produced in late July and August, and colonies decline in September. Large colonies construct 3500 cells in five combs, but the majority of nests contain fewer than 2000 cells in three or four combs. The peak number of workers is 100-400. One of the first nest envelopes constructed by the founding queen has a 6-11-cm-long tunnel extension to the nest entrance. New workers remove the tunnel soon after emerging. The primary duties of the queen after emergence of the first workers is oviposition; they obtain liquid food from late-stage larvae.

Workers are powerful, agile wasps and most forage for live prey. Flies are commonly taken, and in some areas other yellowjackets are an important prey. Workers locate prey by visiting locations such as animal carcasses, trashcans, and organic litter, or searching new areas by flying low over vegetation. Included in their searching behavior are peri-domestic habitats, such as the eaves ofhouses and the screen doors and windows of structures. Peak flight activity for capturing prey may be immediately before sunrise. Workers ingest low to moderate amounts of honeydew and pollen. Foraging rates for colonies are generally linked to colony size. For a colony of 1090 workers, the daily foraging rate may be 19.2 trips per colony member, for an estimated 21000 total trips per day. Nests of D. maculata are often large and this feature alone can be threatening. These wasps are not usually aggressive, and workers are not usually sensitive to the nest being disturbed. The abandoned nests ofthis species are commonly displayed in introductory biology classes and nature centers. This species occurs throughout Canada and eastern USA, and the Pacific coast states into Arizona and New Mexico. It is closely related to the Eurasian species, D. media, and the two may be considered allospecies of a superspecies.

Dolichovespula media Workers are 19-22 mm long; body markings are yellow or orange yellow, the inner-orbital marking is wholly yellow. This large species is often misidentified as Vespa;itistheonly Dolichovespula in Japan with yellow markings. Nests are usually in thick brush near the ground or in trees, but a small percentage may be on structures, such as on eaves and window frames. Colonies initiated in early to late spring produce workers by the end of June. Mature nests have 300-2000 cells, and 2-4 combs. Workers are aggressive towards humans. This species preys on insects, such as flies, and feeds on flower nectar and honeydew. This species occurs in central, northern, and southern Europe, and northern Asia, including Japan.

Norwegian wasp, Dolichovespula norwegica Workers are 9-15 mm. The body is black and yellow; the clypeus has a large central dark mark, and eyes do not extend to the base of the mandibles. Nests are constructed in a variety of habitats and substrates, including in low vegetation and high in trees, and in enclosed or subterranean sites. Mature colonies have about 500 workers. This species occurs in the UK, and it is the dominant vespid in northern Scotland.

Dolichovespula saxonica Workers are 14-16 mm long; body markings are ivory-white, and the inner-orbital region has a pale white line in its lower half. Nests are constructed in open and enclosed sites, on the surface of the ground, under eaves, and in wall voids of structures. Mature colonies have 100-1500 cells and 3.7-6 combs. This species preys on insects, such as flies, and feeds on flower nectar and honeydew. The vespid, D. adulterina,isasocial parasite ofD. saxonica and D. norvegicoides. This species is distributed in North America.

Tree wasp, Dolichovespula sylvestris Workers are 9-15 mm long; the clypeus is entirely yellow or with a small central black spot; the gaster is not marked with brown. Nests are constructed in vegetation, underground and partially underground, and in structures. Colonies initiated in early to late spring produce workers in approximately 25 days, and reproductive cells are produced in less than 30 days. Reproductives emerge approximately 22 days following construction of the first reproductive cells. Mature colonies have about 329 workers. This species is generally common in the UK, and occurs from Scandinavia to North Africa.

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