31 Different Types of Wasps in Missouri

Types of Wasps in Missouri
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Did you know that there are over 4,000 species of wasps in North America alone?

That’s right, these fascinating creatures come in various shapes and sizes, many of which can be found in Missouri. Yes, there are many types of wasps in Missouri.

This blog post will discuss the different types of wasps in Missouri, the Show Me State.

You’re sure to learn something new about these incredible creatures, from paper wasps and mud daubers to cicada killers and yellowjackets.

1. Boll’s Potter Wasp

To start with, on this list of the types of wasps in Missouri is the Boll’s Potter Wasp, also known as the Eumenes bollii.

These insects have a distinct appearance, with yellow and brown stripes on their bodies and reddish-brown heads and wings. These wasps are small, measuring about 1/4 inch in length. 

They feed on nectar from flowers and sap from trees, and they construct their nests by constructing mud cells that they carry back to their burrows.

The Boll’s Potter Wasp can be found in many different parts of Missouri, including forests, meadows, gardens, and backyards. 

The Boll’s Potter Wasp is an important part of Missouri’s ecosystem because it helps pollinate flowers and fruits.

In addition, these wasps are predators, feeding on other insects such as aphids. This helps to keep the insect population in check and prevent infestations.

The Boll’s Potter Wasp is an important part of the environment in Missouri, and it is important to protect these creatures so they can continue to do their important job.

2. Braconid Wasp

Braconid wasps are some of the most common types of wasps in Missouri. They range in size from very small to larger than a dime. The bodies of these wasps are usually black or brown with white, yellow, or red markings. 

Most braconids feed on other insects and larvae, making them beneficial for controlling pest populations.

These wasps live in large colonies and build mud nests, sometimes high up in trees or under eaves.

It’s important to remember that while they are not generally aggressive, they may sting if provoked. 

Braconids, as types of wasps in Missouri, can be identified by their slender bodies and long antennae. They have four wings which they use to fly and to protect their nest from predators. 

While removing their nests from your property may be tempting, it’s best to leave them alone as they are important for controlling insect populations.

Keeping an eye out for nests near your home is a good idea, however, as it will allow you to take action if there is an increase in pest activity.

3. Common Paper Wasp

The Common Paper Wasp is a species of wasp that can be found in Missouri. They are usually about an inch long and have red or yellow markings on their bodies.

These wasps build papery nests that can often be found hanging from porch ceilings or other outdoor structures. 

They typically feed on nectar, fruit, and small insects. They are beneficial to the environment because they help control pest populations.

They are types of wasps in Missouri that also provide a food source for birds and other predators.

Paper Wasps can be aggressive if disturbed, so it is important to keep a safe distance from them.

If you need to remove a nest, it’s best to contact a professional pest control service. With the right precautions, you can coexist peacefully with these helpful insects.

4. Common Thread-Waisted Wasp

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp is a species of wasp native to Missouri. These wasps are quite small, reaching only about 1/2 inch in length, with a slender thread-like waist and an elongated black body. They are often found near flowers and other plants, feeding on nectar and pollen. 

Common Thread-waisted Wasps also hunt other insects, using their long proboscis to capture prey and carry it back to their nest.

The nests of these wasps are usually constructed in soil cavities or beneath the debris, with cells that contain larvae.

Though not aggressive, the Common Thread-waisted Wasp can become territorial if disturbed and will sting if provoked.

However, these wasps do not pose any serious threat to humans and can even be beneficial in controlling pest populations.

If you encounter one of these wasps in your yard or garden, it’s best to leave it be.

5. Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo wasps are a type of parasitic wasp that can be found in Missouri. These small wasps can vary in color from metallic blues and greens to even purples and oranges.

They use their long ovipositor to parasitize other insects, especially other species of solitary bees and wasps. 

Cuckoo wasps, one of the types of wasps in Missouri, are beneficial to the environment as they help to control insect pests.

However, they can be considered a nuisance when they occur in large numbers. Though cuckoo wasps have a wide range of hosts, they have been found to parasitize the nests of other solitary bees and wasps most commonly.

These include mason bees, leaf-cutter bees, digger bees, carpenter bees, sweat bees, and mud daubers. 

This behavior also gives them their name, as they lay their eggs in the nest cells of their hosts rather than building their own nest. When the larvae hatch, they feed off the provisions stored for the host’s offspring.

Cuckoo wasps can be considered pests, but they are actually beneficial to the environment due to their role in pest control. 

Since they parasitize other insects, they help to keep pest populations in check, reducing the need for chemical treatments.

Additionally, some cuckoo wasps also feed on pollen and nectar, making them important pollinators.

6. Double-Banded Scoliid Wasp

The Double-banded Scoliid Wasp is one of the most common types of wasps in Missouri.

These wasps measure around 1 inch long and have yellow and black stripes on their bodies, with a blackheads and red eyes. 

This wasp species is known for its fierce predatory instincts, and its larvae are often used as biological control agents against pest insects.

The Double-banded Scoliid Wasp on our list of the various types of wasps in Missouri is most active during the late summer and fall. This makes it a great addition to the backyard garden as they help to keep pests at bay.

7. European Paper Wasp

The European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula) is also one of the most common types of wasps in Missouri.

This species has a black and yellow color pattern, and its body is about one-half inch long.

They are social insects that build paper nests in exposed locations, such as on tree branches, decks, walls, and other structures. 

This species of wasp can be a nuisance to people due to their aggressive behavior if they feel threatened.

If a nest is located near people or pets, it should be removed to avoid injury or an uncomfortable encounter.

8. Five-Banded Thynnid Wasp

The Five-banded Thynnid Wasp, also known as Myzinum quinquecintum, is a species of wasp found in Missouri.

Small, solitary wasps are generally black with yellow stripes or bands across their bodies. They are very common and can often be seen buzzing around flowers in search of food. 

They feed on nectar and pollen and build their nests in wood or other materials like mud or clay.

The Five-banded Thynnid Wasp is important to the ecosystem because they help to control the populations of other insects, such as caterpillars, by eating them.

These wasps benefit gardeners and farmers because they help keep harmful insects from destroying plants. 

However, these types of wasps in Missouri can be annoying when they fly around your head or sting you if provoked.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of these wasps and be cautious around them. If you are allergic to their sting, avoiding them or wearing protective clothing when working in the garden is best.

9. Four-Toothed Mason Wasp

The four-toothed mason wasp is a type of wasp commonly found in Missouri. It is dark brown with yellowish markings on its abdomen. Its head is triangular, and its antennae are long and slender. 

This wasp lives in wooded areas such as deciduous forests but can also be found in suburban areas.

The female of the species builds a nest from clay mixed with plant fibers and uses it to lay her eggs. Males may patrol around the nest or mate with the female. 

These wasps are generally beneficial because they are predators of caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects.

They can become a nuisance if their nests are built close to homes or other structures.

10. Giant Ichneumon Wasp

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp – M. atrata, is one of Missouri’s many species of wasps. This large wasp is black and orange, with a wingspan of up to four inches.

It has a long body and a large ovipositor for laying eggs. The female of this species is very aggressive and has been known to sting when provoked. 

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp is usually found near rotting logs, stumps, and decaying plant matter.

It uses its large ovipositor to inject eggs into wood-boring larvae and then lays its eggs on them. 

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp benefits the environment because it helps control insect populations. It also serves as an important pollinator, helping to spread pollen from one flower to another. 

As a result, this one of the types of wasps in Missouri helps to ensure that plants and trees can continue flourishing.

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp can be found throughout Missouri, though they are more common in the southern parts of the state.

While it is important to be aware of their presence and treat them respectfully, it is also important to understand their role in the ecosystem and appreciate their beauty.

11. Great Black Wasp

The Great Black Wasp is a common type of wasp found in Missouri. It is a large, black-colored wasp with a body length of up to 1 inch and a wingspan of up to 2 inches. The species is part of the family Sphecidae and is a solitary digger wasp. 

This species is usually found in open fields, gardens, and wooded areas, where they hunt for their prey, which include grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects.

They will also scavenge for food, such as nectar and pollen, and use it to make nests in protected spots in trees or burrows in the ground.

The Great Black Wasp is considered beneficial as they are a natural predator of many destructive pests. 

The Great Black Wasp has been quite aggressive if disturbed or threatened. Their sting is considered painful and dangerous if not treated quickly.

Despite their aggressive nature, the Great Black Wasp is an important part of the ecological balance in Missouri and should be respected for its important role.

12. Great Golden Digger Wasp

The Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) is a type of wasp commonly found in Missouri.

This large wasp has a slender body and is mostly golden or yellowish with black markings.

It has a wingspan of up to 2 inches and can be found hovering around flowers and on the ground searching for food. 

The Great Golden Digger Wasp feeds on nectar and insects, and its larvae feed mainly on beetle larvae.

Although it looks intimidating, the Great Golden Digger Wasp is quite harmless and does not threaten humans. It is also included in our list of the different types of wasps in Missouri!

13. Horntail Wasp

Horntail wasps, or Urocerus species, are parasitoid wasps found in Missouri. These large wasps have black bodies and yellow stripes on their abdomens.

They are typically about 1 inch in length, making them one of the larger wasp species in the state. 

The females of the species lay their eggs in dead wood, where their larvae feed on the wood-boring beetle grubs beneath the bark.

Horntail wasps do not threaten humans but can be intimidating due to their size and buzzing sound. This is one of the important types of wasps in Missouri you should know about.

14. Hyperparasitic Wasp

The Hyperparasitic Wasp is a type of wasp native to Missouri. It is a solitary species that feed on other insects and parasitizes their nests.

These wasps have a large head, a thin waist, and two yellow spots on the thorax.

Also, they have black and yellow stripes on the abdomen and short antennae. The Hyperparasitic Wasp is known to prey on other wasps and pests like beetles, flies, caterpillars, and aphids.

These types of wasps in Missouri usually nest in the ground and can be found near wooded areas. 

They are most active during spring and summer but may be present throughout the year. As a solitary species, they do not form colonies and are not considered a threat to humans.

However, they can be beneficial as they help to keep other insect populations in check by preying on them.

15. Ichneumon Wasp

The Ichneumon Wasp, also known as Diradops bethunei, is a species of parasitic types of wasps in Missouri. These wasps are typically black and red and measure around 10 to 15 millimeters in length.

The Ichneumon Wasp has a long ovipositor which it uses to lay its eggs on the larvae of other insects.

The Ichneumon Wasp’s larvae feed on their hosts’ internal organs, eventually killing them.

While these wasps can be beneficial for controlling pest populations, they should still be cautiously handled as they can sting if provoked.

16. Large Four-Spotted Scoliid Wasp

The large four-spotted scoliid wasp is one of the most recognizable types of wasps in Missouri. It has four bold yellow and black spots on its abdomen and a long, pointed tail.

It is commonly seen hovering around plants and flowers, as it feeds off nectar and pollen. They also hunt and capture small prey, such as spiders and caterpillars.

The larvae feed on the prey the adults have captured and then pupate in underground chambers.

They have many habitats but are most commonly found in gardens and woodlands. They are a valuable part of the food chain and help to control insect populations.

17. Leucospid Wasp

The Leucospid Wasp is one of the most common types of wasps in Missouri. These wasps are typically quite small and are typically between 6-10mm in size.

They have white or yellowish bodies with black stripes, and their wings are usually transparent. 

They are considered non-stinging wasps and have a fairly long life cycle. This type of wasp can be found in gardens, fields, and wooded areas throughout the state.

The Leucospid Wasp primarily feeds on various insects, including aphids, caterpillars, and beetles. 

They are types of wasps in Missouri that feed on small spiders and other arthropods. Their main purpose is to help control pest populations and provide pollination services.

For this reason, they are important for the environment, as they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

18. Metric Paper Wasp

The Metric Paper Wasp (Polistes metricus) is a type of wasp found in Missouri. These wasps are commonly found near wooded areas, on the ground, and in low vegetation.

The adults of these wasps are black with yellow stripes and have a wingspan of around 1 inch. 

They feed mainly on nectar, and the larvae feed on caterpillars. They nest in small colonies, and these colonies are usually built with a few individuals. They often build nests hidden in crevices or under loose tree bark.

These wasps are solitary predators and are important to Missouri’s ecology as they help control caterpillar populations. They can also act as pollinators of many flowers, helping them to spread their pollen.

As with many other types of wasps in Missouri, they can be a nuisance when they come into contact with humans.

However, they pose no real threat if left alone and can benefit the local environment.

19. Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp is a type of wasp native to Missouri. The wasp has an impressive wingspan of up to two inches, and its body is reddish-brown with yellow accents.

The giant ichneumon wasp is a parasite of horntail wasps, paralyzing the insect before laying an egg inside its body. 

The female wasp burrows into the tree, creating a nest for the egg and providing food for the growing larva.

Norton’s giant ichneumon wasp can be found throughout Missouri, although it is less common in southern areas.

It is an important part of the local ecosystem, helping to control populations of wood-boring insects that could damage trees and other plants.

20. Northern Paper Wasp

The Northern Paper Wasp is an aggressive and common wasp found in Missouri. They are a type of social wasp, living in small colonies of up to 20 individuals.

They build paper nests from chewed wood pulp and saliva in sheltered locations like eaves, attics, and inside wall cavities. 

These wasps are most commonly seen in the spring and summer when they are actively foraging for food.

Northern Paper Wasps, on the list of the types of wasps in Missouri, can be identified by their bright yellow-orange coloring and long, slender bodies.

Northern Paper Wasps feed on various insects and spiders, making them beneficial predators in controlling local pest populations.

However, they will also attack people if they feel threatened or disturbed, so taking precautionary measures is important when dealing with these pests.

For most people, removing the nest and treating the area with an insecticide should be enough to keep these wasps away.

21. Paper Wasp

Paper wasps are a large group of social wasps found throughout Missouri. These wasps have long, thin bodies and narrow wings.

The color of the paper wasp ranges from brown to black with yellow or orange markings. They are typically seen near homes, gardens, and other outdoor structures. 

Paper wasps build papery nests that attach to trees, shrubs, poles, and other structures. They usually contain several compartments where the eggs, larvae, and pupae are housed.

Paper wasps are beneficial insects in the garden because they feed on many pest species, such as caterpillars, flies, and aphids.

As one of the several types of wasps in Missouri, they also help pollinate flowers and other plants.

While paper wasps can be beneficial in the garden, they should be avoided when nesting near humans as their sting is quite painful.

It is best to remove the nest if it is close to areas frequented by people.

22. Potter Wasp

The Potter Wasp is a member of the Eumenidae family and is found throughout Missouri. This type of wasp is easily identified by its black and yellow stripes and a white stripe on its abdomen.

They are solitary, ground-nesting insects that are usually found nesting in rotting wood or under rocks and logs. 

Potter Wasps construct their nests out of mud and small stones, forming mud “pots” that they line with silk.

Potter Wasps, which are types of wasps in Missouri, feed on nectar and other sugary substances and small insects.

They are important pollinators in Missouri and beneficial for controlling the populations of various insects.

23. Red Paper Wasp

The Red Paper Wasp (Polistes spp.) is one of the most common types of wasps in Missouri. These large, colorful insects are distinguished by their black and red striped bodies and yellow abdomens.

Red Paper Wasps build large, open paper nests often found hanging from tree branches or other structures. 

They feed on insects, caterpillars, and aphids and can be seen foraging in gardens and meadows.

Red Paper Wasps are not aggressive and will usually only sting if provoked. If you encounter a nest, it is best to leave it alone and observe from a safe distance.

24. Ringed Paper Wasp

The Ringed Paper Wasp (Polistes annularis) is a wasp native to Missouri and found throughout the central United States.

It is most recognizable for its yellow-orange color, black-tipped antennae, and black rings around its body.

The wasp is often found in areas with plenty of vegetation, such as meadows and parks. It has a stinger and will use in self-defense if threatened.

Ringed Paper Wasps build nests of paper cells that they fashion from chewed-up wood fibers.

They prefer to build these nests in sheltered places, such as under tree branches or roofs. They are types of wasps in Missouri that feed on nectar, aphids, and other insects. 

Meanwhile, the wasps are social, living in colonies of up to several hundred individuals. These colonies are headed by one queen and can last for several years.

25. Sand Wasp

The Sand Wasp, or Bembix spp., is a species of wasp found in Missouri. They are typically between 3/8 and 5/8 inches long, black in color, with yellow bands on the abdomen and a pale yellow thorax.

They are also known as sand-burrowing wasps, and they make their nests by burrowing into the ground in sandy or gravel areas. 

The sand wasps, on this list of different types of wasps in Missouri, are predators and feed on small arthropods. These wasps are solitary, non-aggressive, and harmless to humans. 

The Sand Wasp is a beneficial insect for the garden because it helps to control pest populations by preying on other insects. It also feeds on pollen, nectar, and honeydew from plants.

The Sand Wasp is an important pollinator of flowers in Missouri, and its presence can be helpful for the growth and health of native plants.

26. Scoliid Wasp

The Scoliid Wasp (Campsomeris plumipes fossulana) is a wasp found in Missouri and the rest of North America.

They have an elongated, black body with yellow markings and can grow to be 1-2 cm in length. These wasps are parasites, feeding on the larvae of other insects. 

They have a complex life cycle and can remain in the same nest for several years. They also have a distinct buzz when they fly, making them easy to identify.

The Scoliid Wasp is an important pollinator and predator, helping keep the ecosystem balanced.

They are considered beneficial to gardens and other areas, as they help keep insect pests under control.

They are also considered low risk for stinging humans, as they rarely attack unless provoked.

With their unique characteristics, the Scoliid Wasp is an important member of the insect world in Missouri and beyond.

27. Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

The Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp is a type of wasp native to Missouri. This wasp species is easily identifiable by its large black and yellow body, which often has short wings.

It is typically found in wooded areas and prefers areas with deciduous trees. 

The Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp feeds on wood-boring insects, such as carpenter ants and beetles. They can also be seen feeding on caterpillars, flies, and grasshoppers.

These wasps are also types of wasps in Missouri that are non-aggressive and rarely sting people or pets.

Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasps are beneficial to humans because they help to control pests in our gardens and homes.

They can effectively control certain species of insects that could otherwise damage crops or vegetation. They can also help to keep the insect population in check.

By controlling pests, these wasps can also help to maintain a healthy balance between predators and prey.

28. Spider Wasp

The Spider Wasp is a type of wasp that can be found in the state of Missouri. It has an oval-shaped body, typically black, with a yellow or orange band running across its abdomen.

The wings are transparent and brownish, and its antennae are short and slender. 

Like some types of wasps in Missouri, this wasp likes to feed on spiders, as well as other insects and will hunt for food during the day.

It builds its nests in sheltered places such as hollows in trees, under rocks, or cracks in walls.

The spider wasp is an important part of Missouri’s ecosystem, as it helps to control the population of spiders in the area. 

Spider wasps are beneficial insects for gardeners and farmers, as they help to keep pest populations down.

They also help pollinate plants and can be seen hovering over flower beds during the year’s warmer months.

Although they can be aggressive if threatened, they usually pose no threat to humans. If you encounter a spider wasp, it is best to give it a wide berth and avoid disturbing its nest or provoking it.

29. Weevil Wasp

Weevil Wasps are a common species of wasp that can be found in Missouri. These wasps belong to the genus Cerceris, known for their ability to hunt small insects.

They are distinguished from other wasps by their large eyes, and they’re light brown to black colored bodies. 

Weevil Wasps also have long legs, a narrow waist, and two-segmented antennae. They feed mainly on beetles, moths, aphids, and other small insects.

Weevil Wasps benefit the environment because they help keep pest populations in check and pollinate certain flowers.

They are not aggressive towards humans and pose no threat to humans or animals.

30. Squarehead Wasp

The Squarehead Wasp is a species of solitary wasp found in Missouri. This wasp is named for its distinctive square head, usually black or dark brown.

They have long bodies and short wings and grow to a length of up to 3/4 of an inch. 

These particular types of wasps in Missouri are found in open areas, including grasslands and fields.

They are also commonly found near flowers and other nectar-producing plants. They feed mainly on nectar but will also eat small insects.

Squarehead Wasps are most active during the summer months, from May to August. They can often be seen hovering around flowers in search of food.

These wasps help to pollinate plants and play an important role in Missouri’s ecosystems. They are not aggressive and do not threaten humans, so they can be admired from a distance.

31. Thread-Waisted Wasp

The Thread-waisted Wasp (Eremnophila aureonotata) is a species of wasp found in Missouri.

This wasp is typically seen around flowering plants during summer and can range from half an inch to one inch long.

They are black with yellow markings on their bodies and have long, slender waists reminiscent of threads. 

Of the different types of wasps in Missouri, these are solitary insects and feed mostly on flower nectar.

They feed on smaller insects such as caterpillars, aphids, and other soft-bodied bugs. Their main predators are birds, lizards, and spiders.

The Thread-waisted Wasp is an important part of the Missouri ecosystem as they help keep insect populations in check.

They are also beneficial to gardeners as they help control pest populations without using chemical pesticides naturally.

This wasp species is a unique addition to any yard or garden and can provide hours of fascinating observation.


The wasp population in Missouri is very diverse and includes many different species of these fascinating insects.

A variety of wasps can be found in Missouri. Each of these species plays an important role in the environment, and understanding the types of wasps in Missouri can help us better appreciate their role in the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, wasps can be intimidating creatures with black and yellow stripes and a tendency to sting.

But not all wasps are dangerous – in fact, they can benefit our environment. If you’re curious about the different types of wasps in Missouri, you’ve come to the right place.

In the article above, we discussed the various kinds of wasps that inhabited the state and explained why they could be an important part of the ecosystem.

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