Scientific Name: Vespula maculate (Baldfaced hornet); Vespa crabro (European, Giant hornets); Polistes spp. (Paper wasps)
Description: These social wasps have a typical “wasp” body type that features a very distinct head with chewing mouthparts, short-elbowed antennae, and large compound eyes. The thorax and abdomen are brightly marked with red, yellow, or brown or black backgrounds. The wasps have four clear or smoky-brown wings and a short, narrow attachment between the thorax and abdomen. The abdomen is spindle-shaped and possesses a long stinger. The giant European hornet is brown and yellow and 3/4” to 1 3/8” long. Paper wasps can be distinguished from yellow jackets and hornets because their abdomen is tapered at the tip and at the point where it joins the thorax. They are sometimes marked with yellow, brown, or red patterns on black and are 5/8” to 3/4” long.