Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata
The bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) is a large, black and white colored, social wasp that is found throughout North America. It is not a true “hornet” because that term is specifically used to describe wasp species in the genus Vespa, but, instead, it is a member of the “yellowjacket” group (in spite of its very un-yellowjacket-like colorations!). The bald-faced hornet has many other common names including the “white-faced hornet,” the “white-tailed hornet,” the “bald-faced yellowjacket,” the “blackjacket,” and the “bull wasp.” The bald-faced hornet ranges in length from three quarters of an inch to just over an inch. Queens are in the larger portion of the size range, and Workers are in the shorter section of the size range. The bald-faced hornet has a black, relatively hairless body with white patches on its face and thorax and three distinctive white stripes around the end of its abdomen.