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European wasp white bg.jpg
German wasp (Vespula germanica)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Subfamily: Vespinae
Genus: Vespula
Thomson, 1869
Type species
Vespa austriaca
Panzer, 1799[1]

23 species

  • Pseudovespa Schmiedeknecht 1881
  • Allovespula Blüthgen, 1943
  • Rugovespula Archer, 1982

Vespula is a small genus of social wasps, widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. Along with members of their sister genus Dolichovespula, they are collectively known by the common name yellowjackets (or yellow jackets) in North America. Vespula species have a shorter oculomalar space (shown in the figure below right) and a more pronounced tendency to nest underground than Dolichovespula.

Notable species[edit]

Illustration showing oculomalar space


See also[edit]


  1. ^ James M. Carpenter & Jun-ichi Kojima (1997). "Checklist of the species in the subfamily Vespinae (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Vespidae)" (PDF). Natural History Bulletin of Ibaraki University. 1: 51–92.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Vespula, BugGuide
  3. ^ Jacobson, R. S.; Matthews, R. W.; Macdonald, J. F. (1978-05-15). "A Systematic Study of the Vespula vulgaris Group with a Description of a New Yellowjacket Species in Eastern North America (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)1". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 71 (3): 299–312. doi:10.1093/aesa/71.3.299. ISSN 0013-8746.