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Transition Yellowjacket (Vespula flavopilosa)

If insects could experience human emotions, the Transition yellowjacket would probably have an identity crisis. This species, sometimes called a hybrid yellowjacket, is thought to be a cross between the Eastern and German yellowjacket, and possibly related to the Common and Western yellowjacket.

Geographic Region

Transition yellowjackets are found in the upper Midwest and Northeastern U.S.

Natural Habitat

Transition yellowjackets are not as likely to be near human dwellings. Their nests are subterranean, carton-shaped and tan-colored.

Weather Conditions

Like other yellowjacket species, Transition yellowjackets thrive in hot, dry weather.


Transition yellowjackets will scavenge for protein and sugary foods, and may be pests around trash cans and picnics.

Unique Characteristics

Like most other yellowjacket species, the transition yellowjacket has yellow and black coloration and a stout body, roughly ½ inch in length. It’s sometimes called the “downy yellowjacket” or “yellow-haired yellowjacket” because of the fine yellow hairs all over its body.