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Western Yellow-jacket

Vespula pensylvanica

Western Yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica, photo © by Mike Plagens

These yellowjackets are taking sap from sapsucker holes in the trunk of an Arizona Sycamore, New River Mountains, Maricopa, Co., Arizona, USA. 26 November 2010. Also in the photo at upper right are a pair of flies (diptera).

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Campouts and picnics in sycamore woods during the summer and fall months are bound to draw yellowjackets. These insects seek sugar and meat products and can be rather persistant in the acquisition thereof. Sugar is used mostly as fuel for gathering carrion, dead insects and predated insects and transporting back to the underground nest. The nest is constructed in an abandoned burrow and is lined with papery material made by the wasps. Within the nest are grubs and pupae that are fed and cared for by the adult wasps.

Vespidae -- Hornet and Paper Wasp Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010