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Dolichovespula maculata fg01.jpg
Dolichovespula maculata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Subfamily: Vespinae
Genus: Dolichovespula
Rohwer, 1916

Dolichovespula is a small genus of social wasps distributed widely throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The yellow and black members of the genus are known by the common name yellowjackets in North America, such as Dolichovespula norwegica, along with members of their sister genus Vespula. In a study on the nesting biology of Dolichovespula, D. maculata was found to have the largest population count at 771.[1]


Wasp morphology: the oculo-malar space

A set of morphological differences distinguishes them from Vespula. The most noticeable is the long face (dolikhos = "long" in Greek). Viewed from the front, Dolichovespula faces are long, while Vespula faces are short and round. The oculo-malar space, the distance between the eye and the mandible, is long in Dolichovespula and short in Vespula.

Dolichovespula nests are usually aerial, while Vespula often nest underground.



  1. ^ Archer, Michael E. (September 2006). Taxonomy, distribution and nesting biology of species of the genus Dolichovespula. Entomological Science 9(3):281–293.

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