Wasps and hornets

Description: WaspThe Wasp, or Hornet (also known as Dirt Daubers, Mud Daubers, Potter Wasps, Velvet Ants, Yellowjackets, Fairyflies), is a rather generic suborder of insects.  A Wasp generally a smooth-bodied, slender stinging insects. Like a Bee, Wasps have two pairs of wings, a stinger (only the female Wasps have stingers), and few, if any, hairs on their body (in contrast to the Bee which is covered in fuzz).  They have a hard exoskeleton covering a three-segmented body and as with all insects, have six legs.  Many wasps nest individually in mud nests or in paper pulp (made from chewed bark and wood) nest colonies that they build attached to structures, trees, or burrowed in the ground. There are several thousand species worldwide.

Dirt or Mud Dauber waspWasps feed on nectar and other insects.  Unlike a bee, a wasp can sting multiple times with its stinger.  The most aggressive Wasp is the Yellowjacket.

Treatment: If stung by a wasp, check for allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or mouth, or rapid pulse.  Wash the sting site thoroughly with soap and water to lessen the chance of a secondary infection.  More information on treating bee and wasp stings, including natural remedies that may be found in the wild, may be found here.

Habitat: Velvet Ant is actually a type of waspMay be found anywhere in various species.

Distribution: Worldwide.

NOTE: An exception to general appearance is the velvet ant of the southern United States. It is a flightless wasp with red and black alternating velvety bands.


Wasp stinger with a drop of venom being secreted

Close-up of a Wasp head showing the antenna and eyes

Wasp settled on a flower

Wasps building a paper nest

Time sequence photos of a Wasp building a nest

Wasps nesting

Sand Wasp

Wasps can be solid colors too