#197 Common Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria)

12 September

Also known as the common aerial yellowjacket, sandhills hornet, and common yellow hornet, is a species of wasp within the Dolichovespula genus widely distributed in the North American continent.

A queen initiates a colony in the spring by choosing a site and building a small paper nest where it lays its eggs. Then, the eggs hatch from the brood cell and the queen feeds the larvae. These larvae eventually become workers and the colony continues to grow and peaks in the summer. The workers are morphologically distinct from the queen. The single queen heads the annual nests by producing workers In the Dolichovespula genus, male (drone) production by workers is common and there exists high worker relatedness due to low effective paternity within nests. In general, these colonies flourish for roughly a year before they dwindle as the winter sets in

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