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Free images -  Hornets/ Wasps

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as".  

 

 

What's the difference between a hornet and a wasp?

The Vespidae family includes Paper Wasps, Yellowjackets (also spelled Yellow Jackets) and Hornets.  Easily distinguished from bees, wasps have smooth bodies (no body hair) and have thinner, longer bodies.  All three have narrow wings that fold longitudinally when at rest; larvae that are fed dead or living insects; nests made of recycled wood fibers; and the ability to sting repeatedly.

A hornet is a wasp - it is a small subset of all wasps.  Remember - while all hornets are wasps, not all wasps are hornets.  Hornets are a type of wasp that are not native to North America. Visually, they are fatter around their middle. Like wasps, they too can sting multiple times. In confusion, quite often all large wasps are called hornets.

 

 

Mud Dauber

Paper Wasp

Yellow Jacket 

Hornet

Colouring

Dark colour; very slender; have tiny waists that are thin like "thread".

Have long slender waists.

Have jagged bright yellow and dark stripes;

Black & white; brownish-red.

Size

 

5/8" long body; legs dangle when in flight.

3/8 to 5/8 long; can't see legs when in flight.

Are larger than Yellow Jackets; 5/8 to 3/4" long.

Diet

 

Eat live insects.

Feed on dead insects; like to scavenge on human food & garbage; bothersome during summer outdoor eating.

Eat live insects; rarely look for sweets & proteins.

Nests

Build small, hard mud nests 

Open, umbrella-shaped paper comb nests; found suspended in protected areas often around human homes.

Enclosed nests typically under the ground or in wall cavities; are a tan colour.

Huge, enclosed paper nests suspended from tree branches; are a mottled gray colour.

Colony Size   Less than 100 individuals. Well over 100. Well over 100.

Behaviouers

 

 

 Have a rapid, side-to-side flight pattern prior to landing.

 

Aggression

Rarely aggressive; beneficial preditors that feed on other insects. Helpful to gardeners.

Rarely aggressive; beneficial preditors that feed on other insects.

Very aggressive; drawn to colourful clothing & scents; can be trapped. 

Very aggressive when nest is disturbed.

 

Bald-faced Hornet

Dolichovespula maculata

Dolichovespula maculata is commonly known as the "Bald-faced Hornet, Bald Hornet, White-faced Hornet, White-tailed Hornet, Blackjacket" and "Bull Wasp".  This species is widespread in North America except in deserts and central plains.  These wasps are related to Yellow Jackets and are not true hornets.  By summer, a nest will contain 100-400 wasps.  Adults prey on other Yellow Jackets and flies, but will also eat nectar and sap.    Note the rear half of the abdomen is marked with white.  

 

Bald-faced hornet

Bald-faced Hornet - 1

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Large - 3327 x 2495  - Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Bald-faced Hornet

Bald-faced Hornet - 2

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Western Yellow Jacket|

Vespula pensylvanica

Western Yellow Jackets are also known as the "Meat Bee". Adults are active from spring to fall.  They prey on insects and spiders.  Scavenging meat, they become pests at outdoor areas such as picnics, cafes, etc.  Underground nests may be built in abandoned rodent burrows and may include over 5,000 workers.  These wasps have a black, unstriped thorax; black and yellow abdomens; are short-waisted; and have eyes that are completely encircled in yellow.

Did you know...

that unlike Honeybees, the stingers of Yellow Jackets are not barbed.  They stay attached to their abdomen despite repetitive use.  Stings are very painful.

 

Western Yellow Jacket wasp.

Yellow Jacket - 1
Scavenging turkey meat from my dinner plate at an outdoor picnic.

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Large - 2763 x 2073  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Yellow Jacket wasp eating meat.

Yellow Jacket - 2
Scavenging turkey meat from my dinner plate at an outdoor picnic.

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Yellow Jacket wasp eating meat.

Yellow Jacket - 3
Scavenging turkey meat from my dinner plate at an outdoor picnic.

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Large - 1702 x 1277  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Yellow Jacket Wasp.

Yellow Jacket - 4
Scavenging turkey meat from my dinner plate at an outdoor picnic.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 2347 x 1758  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Yellow Jacket wasp tearing at meat.

Yellow Jacket - 5
Scavenging turkey meat from my dinner plate at an outdoor picnic.

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Hornet's nests are usually built in tree trunks like the one below.  A queen builds a series of cells from chewed wood fibers.  Arranged in horizontal layers, the cells are called combs.  The queen lays her eggs in vertical cells and after 5-8 days, the egg hatches.  The larva next grows through five stages fed a protein-rich diet by the queen. 

When fully grown, this first generation of workers - all female - will take over the queen's tasks of looking for food, building the nest, looking after the larva, etc.  The queen remains as the only one to lay eggs.

 

Hornet nest in tree branch.

Hornet Nest - 1

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Hornet nest in tree branch with spring buds.

Hornet Nest - 2

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Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

The photo above clearly shows several clusters of combs.  As the colony grows, new combs are added.  The structure is continuously enlarged and all the combs are enveloped with only one entrance way open. The combs are made out of a paper-like material that is composed of chewed tree fibers mixed with the saliva of the hornets/wasps.  This is technically known as "wasp spit".

 

Close up of hornet nest cells in colony.

Hornet Nest - 3

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Large - 3264 x 2448 - Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

Did you know... 

that unlike honey bees, wasps do not produce wax?  The cells that the larvae grow in are made of primarily wood pulp.

 

Colonies make up hornet nest.

Hornet Nest - 4

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paper round hornet nest in tree

Hornet Nest -5

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hornet nest in tree branch with blue sky

Hornet Nest - 6

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Hornet/Wasp Image Pages  [1]   [2]   [3]

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 


 

Are You Baffled 
by Bugs ?

Did you know...

That all insects are bugs, but not all bugs are insects!

 


"I dreamed
 I was a butterfly,
 flitting around 
in the sky; 
then I awoke.  
Now I wonder:  
Am I a man 
who dreamt 
of being a butterfly, 
or am I a butterfly
dreaming 
that I am a man?"

~ Chuang Tse ~
Chinese philosopher

 

Insects have 3 body parts:  a head, thorax and abdomen.  They also have six legs and two antennae.

Spiders and Scorpions have eight legs and are not considered insects!

 

According to some sources, the total number of insect species is somewhere between 15 and 30 million!

There are 900,000 known species in the world.

 

Insane About Insects ?

 

Did you know...

Scorpions can live for more than one year without eating!

 

Mosquitoes have 47 teeth, but only the female mosquitoe bites using it's proboscis.

Fireflies, sometimes called Lightningbugs, are not true bugs or flies.  They are beetles!

Every year, insects eat about one third of the world's food crops.

Only male crickets can chirp.  They will chirp faster in warm weather.  

Most insects hatch from eggs.

The average bed contains 2-6 million dust mites!

 

Are You An Enthusiastic
Entomologist ?

Did you know...

Every year, the average person eats several insects while sleeping.  

Insects breath through a complicated network of air tubes called tracheae that open along the sides of the insects body.

Nearly all insect growth involves metamorphosis.

The average housefly lives only two weeks!

A female ladybug lays about 1000 eggs in her lifetime.

Honeybees fly at a speed of 13-15 mph.

Even though spiders have eight eyes, they still can't see very well.

A cockroach can live up to 9 days without its head!

 

 

 

 

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