Vespula squamosa

This is the second spring I’ve seen a queen Southern Yellowjacket in Green-Wood.
The species is parasitic on other Vespula ground yellowjacket species. They typically usurp Eastern Yellowjacket colonies. But, as “facultative temporary social parasites,” they can also found their own colonies as well.
Their northern range is about here in lower New York. On iNaturalist, there are 12 NYC observations. Every borough but the Bronx has them reported. They can be found down to Honduras, making them the mostly southerly of Vespula species. The stripes on the mesoscutum are distinctive, in its range, among the Vespulas.

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