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Types Of Wasps

Updated on November 19, 2011

A wasp is a common flying insect belonging to the order Hymenoptera of class insecta which is a class of the phylum Arthropoda of the Kingdom Animalia.

Generally all the wasps have the following characteristics:

  • They all have at least a pair of wings with the exception of few families all the wasps have wings.
  • They are terrestrial.
  • All of the wasps are either parasitic or predators of other terrestrial insects and arachnids. It is believed that almost all the insect species have one or more wasps predating on them, there for the wasps play a very important role in the food chain.
  • They have no or very few thickened hair, unlike the bees.
  • All the female wasps have an ovipositor or a stringer.

When it comes to dividing different species of wasps into various types we first basically divide wasps into types:

  • Solitary wasps which live and operate alone. These wasps are usually fertile in the adult form
  • Social wasps which exist in colonies and work together. These wasps live in strong built nests. In majority of the colonial species every individual wasp can reproduce while in some colonies only the queen wasp can mate with any male.

There are nearly 4000 different species of wasps belonging to different families and super families of the order to which they belong

A Bald Faced Hornet
A Bald Faced Hornet

Honey Bee Fact

A typical beehive houses 15,000 to 50,000 bees. There is only one bee in each hive that is reproductive and the others are non-reproductive workers. This reproductive bee is called the Queen Bee.

Bald Faced Hornet

The biological name of this species is Dolichovespula maculata and it belongs to the family Vespidae of wasps.

This wasp is a social wasp living in large nests mostly hanging from the trees.

The reproduction is carried out by the queen who mates and lays eggs on a newly made small nest.

The bald faced hornets do not like any sort of intrusion in their space. They are very aggressive and anyone who enters their zone gets stung by their smooth stringers.

Their stringers may carry venom in many cases which is very dangerous for the human beings. Their bite on human skin may cause swelling itching and a severe allergic reaction.

All the bald faced hornets feed on fruit and nectar juices.

A Wasp from the Ammophilia Procera family.
A Wasp from the Ammophilia Procera family.
A Yellow Jacket
A Yellow Jacket
A Cuckoo Wasp
A Cuckoo Wasp

Yellow Jacket

The yellow jacket or the Vespula vulgaris belongs to the family Vespidae.

These wasps has a small body which bears yellow and black strips hence the name yellow jacket is given to them.

They usually live where the human being live, building their nests around the garbage cans, underground spaces, holes in the walls or in some cases on small trees and shrubs.

Their nest is usually small in which the wasps stay active for a year, after which the queen (who is responsible for reproduction) flies off leaving the remaining wasps to die out.

The yellow jackets feed on insects and human foods such as meat and sweets.

These wasps are dangerous and their sting can cause an allergic reaction.


Ammophilia procera belongs to the family Sphecidae of the general type known as the Aphoid wasps.

These wasps are not as aggressive as the bald faced hornet but the female species may sting on human beings.

These wasps are mostly used for the bio pest control as they feed on most of the insects that have a harmful impact on human beings.

The body of the Ammophilia procera is thin with a very narrow and a long waist.

The entire body is black in color with the abdomen bearing slight red or dark red markings in the male and the female species respectively.

This specie is commonly found in the eastern part of the world.

The Cuckoo Wasp

The cuckoo wasps belong to the family Chrysididae.

These wasps have a bright metallic body with a blue, green or red color.

These wasps have a unique mechanism of reproduction in which the individuals mate and lay their eggs in the nest of bees or some other types of wasps!

They build their own nests mostly underground and feed on small insects of the nectar of flowers.

These wasps are very small but are dangerous enough to cause an allergy when they bite down on human skin.

Their nest is large in which 1500 individual wasps can live.

These wasps too like the hornets do not like any foreign invasion in their space and get very aggressive if someone enters their private zone.


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      lauren 6 years ago

      i love this website i am doing a project on wasps thanks for the URL byes