Prairie Yellowjacket
 
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: Aug. 27, 2007
               
       Photo 1

Prairie Yellowjacket

Common Name:  Prairie Yellowjacket

Latin Name:  Vespula atropilosa (Sladen, 1918)
                        (M. Buck, det.)

Length:  10-15 mm

Range: Southwestern side of Alberta

Habitat:  Prairie and open forest

Time of year seen:  Spring to Fall

Diet: Insects mostly, also nectar and sweet foods

Other:  The Prairie Yellowjacket is a ground nesting species that is common through the prairies and areas with open forests.  Nests are typically built in old rodent burrows with mature colonies having up to ~500 workers.  The workers are predatory, attacking a variety of live prey including spiders, flies, caterpillars and true bugs. (Akre et al, 1980)  Identifying features are as follows: black and yellow coloration, narrow oculomalar space, thorax lacking two yellow stripes, abdomen with at least one pair of isolated black spots and a diamond shaped black medial mark on tergum one with a rounded hind margin.  

 
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