Vespula maculifrons Buysson
EASTERN YELLOWJACKET
Vespa maculifrons; Harris; Vespa communis var flavida; Sladen
Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Vespoidea   Vespidae   Vespula

Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket, male
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket, male

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Vespula maculifrons cutting up dead honeybee to take to babies
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014 · 8
Vespula maculifrons cutting up dead honeybee to take to babies
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket

Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket

Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Vespula maculifrons Eastern Yellowjacket

Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 7
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket
Vespula maculifrons
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 7
Vespula maculifrons

Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket Worker
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 6
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket Worker
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 3
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket

Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellow Jacket Worker
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 1
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellow Jacket Worker
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 1
Vespula maculifrons, Eastern Yellowjacket

Vespula maculifrons, face
© altered from Miller 1961by Grace Chen · 1
Vespula maculifrons, face
Vespula maculifrons, queen abdomen
© altered from Miller 1961by Grace Chen · 1
Vespula maculifrons, queen abdomen
Overview
Akre, R.D., A. Greene, J.F. MacDonald, P.J. Landholt, and H.G. Davis. (1981). Yellowjackets of North America, North of Mexico. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. Handbook #552.


Vespula maculifrons (eastern yellowjacket) is widespread in the Austral Region of North America from southern Manitoba to Montana and New Mexico and from there across to the eastern seaboard (fig. 60). Biological investigations of this species were conducted by Balduf (1968a, 1968b), Haviland (1962), MacDonald and Matthews (198_a), Preiss, and Shew. V. maculifrons typically builds its nests (fig. 61) in subterranean locations in yards, along and creek banks, in hardwood forests, and in urban environments. MacDonald and Matthews (198_a) reported 143 of 145 nests the southeast were subterranean and commonly found in creek banks in hardwood forests. Subterranean nest locations were also reported by Haviland (1962), Preiss,6 and Shew.7 Other nest locations have also been described such as in decaying stumps (Green et al., 1970 and Shew), attics (Balduf, 1968a, 1968b; MacDonald and Matthews, 198_a; Simon and Benton, 1968), in the walls of structures (Balduf, 1968b, Green et al., 1970), and even in abandoned cars and inside the hull of a boat. In the Washington, D.C., area, nests in walls now constitute nearly half of homeowner complaints regarding V. maculifrons (J. Nixon, Silver Spring, Md., personal commun.). This species also frequently nests in structures in Indiana. Colonies in Georgia have a very long seasonal cycle. Reproductive production does not begin until late September but continues well into December. In the North, colonies are initiated in May or June and usually peak in the latter part of August or September. The seasonal cycle is somewhat shorter than in the South, and cob- flies typically are smaller. Haviland (1962) collected 10 nests that ranged from 9.5 to 30 cm in diameter (table 9). The envelope of these nests was tan-brown and very fragile. The largest had eight comb levels and contained 2,800 adults. Simon and Benton (1968) observed, and later collected on December 5 in Pennsylvania, a nest from the loft of a barn that contained 10,960 cells, including 880 queen cells. The adult population of the colony was 5,062 (598 queens, 3,255 males, and 1,209 workers). A large colony of V. maculifrons in the southeast typically consists of 3,000 to 5,000 workers at its peak and constructs a nest of 10,000 to 15,000 cells of which nearly 30 percent are queen cells (MacDonald and Matthews, 198_a; table 10 of this handbook). Virtually every mature V. maculifrons colony in Georgia and North Carolina harbored large numbers of scavenger fly larvae in the soil beneath the nest. Larvae of Dendrophaonia querceti were by far the predominant associate, and Fannia larvae were present in lower numbers in nearly every nest cavity. Larvae of Triphieba lugubris were rarely encountered, but when present in nearly abandoned nests they totally invaded the nest proper. Only 3 of 145 nests were infested with Sphecophaga vesparum burra, and then only a few cells were parasitized. In Georgia and western North Carolina, V. maculifrons is the primary host of the facultative social parasite, V. squamosa (MacDonald and Matthews, 1975). An estimated 40 percent of the V. maculifrons colonies in this area are usurped by queens of the parasite (MacDonald and Matthews, 198_b). There are isolated behavioral observations on V. maculifrons (Balduf, 1968a; Beamer, 1925; Simon and Benton, 1968), but no studies on foraging behavior or interactions within the nest. Although V. maculifrons workers prey upon economically important insects, such as earwigs (Kurczewski, 1968) and fall webworm larvae (Morris, 1972), this aspect of their biology usually has been ignored. In most areas in which it occurs, V. maculifrons is the primary pest yellowjacket because of its scavenging habits and the great number of colonies that build nests in yards, golf courses, recreational areas, and buildings. In some areas of the northeast, it appears that V. maculifrons is being replaced by V. germanica as the primary pest species, and in the southeast V. squamosa competes with V. maculifrons for primary pest status.




Reprinted with permission from: Miller, C.D.F. 1961 Taxonomy and Distribution of Nearctic Vespula. The Canadian Entomologist Supplement 22.


Diagnostic Characters
Color.—Black with yellow markings. Structure.—Malar space less than half as long as the penultimate antennal segment (Fig. 1); occipital carina complete (Fig. 3); apex of seventh tergite of male depressed, in profile the base notched (Fig. 8); shaft of aedeagus with a sharp tooth on each side close to base of terminal spoon (Fig. 12). Abdominal Color Patterns.—as in Figs. 24, 27, 30 Facial Color Pattern.—as in Fig. 70.

This species is restricted to the Austral region of eastern North America.

Like V. vulgaris this species is relatively stable over most of its range. Where it occurs with V. vulgaris it appears to hybridize with it. Like that species it also has a sporadically distributed, rare, xanthic variant with a yellow spot on each side of the propodeum. Ecological Notes.—The nests of this species are reputedly terrestrial or in well-sheltered places like decayed stumps or hollow logs. The writer’s observations confirm the terrestrial habitat.


Names
Scientific source:

Links to other sites
Eastern Yellowjacket Information, Harvard University

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Following served from Vespula maculifrons, Charles Lewallen, http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild
   
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