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Bald-faced Hornet

Dolichovespula maculata


Bald-faced hornet (or white-faced hornet or white-tailed hornet). Its well-known features include its hanging paper nests and the females' habit of defending them with repeated stings. It belongs to a genus of wasps called yellowjackets in North America, but is not called that because it lacks yellow coloring. Instead, it is called a hornet in the American sense of a wasp that builds paper nests, especially one of the subfamily Vespinae. It is not a "true hornet" in the British sense, that is, a member of the genus Vespa in the same subfamily, such as the Asian giant hornet or the European hornet. Nests usually become apparent in the autumn.


Nests are built above ground in trees, bushes, and other protected places. Baldfaced Hornets make large oval nests (when mature) above ground with the entrance low down on the side. However, the beginning nest by the queen is globular with the entrance at the bottom

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Spotted by

Longmont, Colorado, USA

Spotted on Sep 1, 2009
Submitted on Apr 22, 2011

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