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Prairie Yellowjacket
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Prairie Yellowjacket (Vespula atropilosa)

Geographic Region

Prairie yellowjackets are found in the Western and Rocky Mountain states.

Natural Habitat

Prairie yellowjackets are abundant in prairie and open forest areas. They also nest in lawns, pastures and golf courses.

Weather Conditions

Like other yellowjacket species, Prairie yellowjackets get established and thrive in hot, dry weather.


Prairie yellowjackets are predators of live prey such as spiders, flies and caterpillars.

Unique Characteristics

Prairie yellowjackets are yellow with black bands and pairs of black spots below the bands.  black with bright yellow markings.