Prairie Yellowjacket (Vespula atropilosa)
This species has been observed with two different marking patterns on the abdomen, one of which closely resembles the Forest Yellowjacket. However, the abdominal markings most commonly seen have mostly yellow coloration, thin black bands with center points and black dots.
Prairie Yellowjackets are abundant in prairie and open forest areas. They also nest in lawns, pastures and golf courses. Prairie Yellowjackets are predators of only live prey such as spiders, flies, caterpillars and hemipterans. They are not known to hunt other wasp, hornet or yellowjacket species.
Most Prairie Yellowjacket nests are subterranean, but they have also been found in wall cavities. These are typically smaller colonies, with less than 500 workers.
Nature toward humans:
Prairie Yellowjackets are not a serious stinging hazard unless the nest is disturbed. Because they nest in lawns, this species is more likely to be found near human activity areas.
Other Yellowjacket species