10 Different Types of Wasps in Florida

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

The peninsular sunshine state of Florida lies on the Atlantic Coast, bordering the states of Alabama and Georgia to the north. It experiences short and hot summers and mild winters due to its subtropical climate. About 25,000 square miles of the state is covered in forests, and the state is home to more than 80 diverse ecosystems with more than 12,500 insect species. We will discuss different types of wasps in Florida.

Wasps are insects belonging to the order Hymenoptera, and the suborder Apocrita. They are neither bees nor ants, and this distinction is clear by their narrow waist and slender and smooth body. Out of all kinds of wasps, most prefer to lead solitary lives while only 1000 species of wasps are social. The climate of Florida allows for wasps to roam around in the state, throughout the year. The following is a list of the different varieties of wasps found in the sunshine state,

Wasps in Florida

1. Yellow Jacket Wasp

Yellow Jacket Wasps, like the name suggests, are mostly yellow, but also have dark markings on their bodies. Both the Southern and Eastern Yellow Jackets are found in the state. While the Southern Yellow Jacket Wasps have two dark stripes on their otherwise yellow-toned thorax, the eastern variant does not, hence making it easy to distinguish between the two. Yellow Jacket Wasps nest in the ground, in walls and small spaces, often near sites of human activity.

Also Read: 7 Types Of Owls in Florida

Yellow Jacket Wasp
Yellow Jacket Wasp

2. Bald-faced Hornet

Unlike the name suggests, these insects are not hornets but are relatives of the Yellow Jacket Wasps. It has a dark coloured body with white markings, while its face is mostly white with black markings. These wasps are named hornets due to their hornet-like appearance and aggressive protective tendencies. These wasps chew woodlike material and mix it with saliva to make grey, paper-like nests, where these wasps live as a social colony. They mostly feed on caterpillars and other soft insects.

Also Read: 10 Different Animals That With The Letter C

Bald-faced Hornet
Bald-faced Hornet

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. European Hornet

This species of wasp is not native to North America but can be found throughout the continent. European Hornets generally do not show aggressive tendencies towards humans unless provoked or as a result of being territorial. These wasps have a yellow head and yellow stripes on their body and their size may range from 0.75 to 1.5 inches. They are most active during evenings and nighttime.

Also Read: 10 Types of Woodpeckers in Florida

European Hornet
European Hornet

4. Thread Waisted Wasp

These wasps have a very narrow waist and a glossy dark abdomen with a stripe of orange or red on them. They can grow upto 1.5 inches. They are omnivores and feed on flower nectar as well as insects like caterpillars, spiders, and other small insects. Thread Waisted Wasps are known to build nests underground and are not generally aggressive.

Thread Waisted Wasp
Thread Waisted Wasp

Image Source: Patrick Coin (Flickr)

5. Steel Blue Cricket Hunter wasp

These wasps are coloured a beautiful bluish-black, with black coloured legs and antennae. They have transparent blue wings which help them to navigate the air properly. Steel Blue Cricket Hunters are smaller than most other species of wasps and can be spotted in open spaces and clearings. They feed on flower nectar.

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter wasp
Steel Blue Cricket Hunter wasp

Image Source: Wikimedia

6. Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Black and Yellow Mud Daubers are native to the North American continent, and to California in particular. These wasps are found all over the continental USA. Mud Dauber Wasps are also called “potter wasps” or “dirt diggers” as they build their nests on the ground, from mud. They have transparent wings and shiny dark blue or black bodies. These wasps feed on small spiders.

Also Read: 10 Types Of Spiders in New Jersey

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

7. Eastern Cicada Killing Wasps

Eastern Cicada Killing Wasps have also been described on occasions, as “giant bees”. They can live upto a year and grow to be 1.5 inches long. These wasps are named so because of their diet consisting of larvae, insects and cicadas. They have yellow markings on a dark coloured body. Their habitat consists of areas with well-drained soils and adequate sunlight. These wasps have a venomous sting that paralyzes their prey.

Eastern Cicada Killing Wasps
Eastern Cicada Killing Wasps

Image Source: Wikimedia

8. Velvet Ants

These wasps are black-bodied but have fuzzy red hair on their heads and tails. Male Velvet Ants have wings, while females do not. These ants even eat their fellow yellow jacket wasps and other bees. Their stings are known to be very painful. These wasps are extremely small, about 0.2 to 0.8 inches in size and, because of their solitary nature, they do not work and live in a hive.

Velvet Ants
Velvet Ants

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are the different varieties types of wasps in Florida. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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