Western Yellowjacket
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: May 3,  2008
       Photo 1

Common Name:  Western Yellowjacket

Latin Name:  Vespula pensylvanica  (Saussure, 1857)
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  10 - 15 mm

Range:  Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Various

Time of year seen:  Late March - October (Additional Sightings)

Diet: Insects mostly, also nectar and sweet foods.

Other: Vespula pensylvanica (de Saussure, 1857), the western yellowjacket, is a common species found from Manitoba to British Columbia in Canada (Buck et al., 2008). The wasps have the typical yellow and black coloration associated with the name yellowjacket. The diagnostic characteristic of this species is reported as a complete yellow ring or loop around the top of each eye (Buck et al., 2008). Subterranean nesting sites such as rodent burrows are common (MacDonald et al., 1974), but other nesting sites with dark spaces may be selected; including attics and inter wall spaces in houses (Buckell and Spencer, 1950) and hollow logs. This species of yellow jacket is both a predator of other arthropods (Akre et al., 1981) and a general scavenger (Kimsey and Carpenter, 2012). As such its foraging can bring it into conflict with humans, resulting in its designation as a pest species (Akre et al., 1981). (Bercha, 2016)


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