Wasp vs. Hornet

Difference Between Wasp And Hornet

Wasp, the common name for insects of the order Hymenoptera, other than ants and bees, generally characterized by slender bodies with abdomens attached by narrow stalks (“wasp waists”) and more or less painful stings.

In its broadest sense, the name wasp includes certain plant-feeding kinds such as gall and seed wasps and leaf and wood wasps, which in North America are commonly called sawflies. The vast majority of wasps, however, attack other insects or spiders. Many of these deposit their eggs in or on another insect, and their larvae consume the body fluids of the host, finally killing it shortly before they are ready to pupate. These are the so-called “parasitic Hymenoptera.” True wasps belong to another group, the Aculeata, in which the ovipositor (egg-laying tube) is modified to form a sting, the egg being discharged from the tip of the abdomen proper.

Hornet, any of several large social wasps of the family Vespidae in the order Hymenoptera. The bald-faced hornet (Vespula maculata) and the European hornet (Vespa crabo) build oval paper nests in trees; the yellow jackets (Vespula) nest in sheltered places or underground. A hornet nest contains one queen and many smaller workers, her daughters, who seek nectar and honeydew for themselves and obtain soft-bodied insects to feed the developing larvae.

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