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Blackjacket (Vespula Consobrina)

When is a yellowjacket not a yellow jacket? When it’s a Blackjacket!
 

Geographic Region

Blackjackets are found on the West Coast, part of the Rocky Mountain range, Upper Midwest, Northeast and the southern part of Alaska.
 

Natural Habitat

Blackjackets are primarily located in heavily forested areas. Their nests are typically subterranean rodent burrows, but may be found in logs or rock cavities and buildings.
 

Weather Conditions

Blackjacket colonies get established and thrive in hot, dry weather.
 

Behavior

Aggressiveness of blackjackets is often dependent on colony size, with larger colonies being more easily agitated. Blackjackets are not usually in contact with humans, so there is less possibility of stinging incidents -- although they present a problem for loggers. Adult blackjackets are attracted to sugary secretions and collect protein for the larvae.
 

Unique Characteristics

Blackjackets are black and white (or very pale yellow), with pale posterior bands, of various widths, on most of the abdomen segments. The compound eye almost touches the mandible (jaw).