[Tweeters] Followup: Wasps ID'd

Tucker, Trileigh TRI at seattleu.edu
Thu Aug 1 13:01:03 PDT 2013

Hello again Tweeters,

Did you know there's a type of wasp called an "aerial yellow jacket"? I didn't either. Its Latin name is Dolichovespula arenaria, and apparently this is what my wasp nest of yesterday is. I received a number of responses from kind Tweeters helping me identify the species, so I thought I'd reply to the group.

One Tweeter commented that this species is quite calm, which is borne out by my additional observations yesterday after I posted to Tweeters. I went out to take closer-up photos and was able to get within a few inches of the nest's entrance without apparently disturbing the two quiescent wasps working the opening. I then backed off to use my big lens. Finally I guess the flashes did disturb them (for which I apologize to the wasps; wish I hadn't), and a few began to fly from the entrance, so it seemed a good time to leave. I have posted new closeups on Flickr at flickr.com/photos/trileigh.

How wonderful that there's always something new to learn! Thanks again to those who responded.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Trileigh Tucker
Lincoln Park, West Seattle
Natural history blog: natural presence.wordpress.com
Photos: flickr.com/photos/trileigh

From: <Tucker>, Trileigh Tucker <tri at seattleu.edu<mailto:tri at seattleu.edu>>
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:33 PM
To: "tweeters at u.washington.edu<mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu>" <tweeters at u.washington.edu<mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Off-topic, mostly: Seattle wasp species that build paper nests

Hi Tweeters,

I'll start with a birding observation for legitimacy: I have seen several Rufous Hummingbirds near Lincoln Park in West Seattle this year, both in the park and, more commonly, at my feeders and on my yard flowers. There don't seem to be as many as in previous years, unfortunately.

There is a beautiful football-sized paper-wasp nest near my house—characteristic of nests built by bald-faced hornets. However, these wasps don't look like that species; these are narrow-bodied with many thin yellow segments in the abdomen (photos at flickr.com/photos/trileigh). Does anyone know what other Seattle wasp species build such nests?

Thanks as always,

Trileigh Tucker
Lincoln Park, West Seattle
Natural history website: naturalpresence.wordpress.com
Flickr page: flickr.com/photos/trileigh

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