29 Different Types of Wasps in Delaware

Types of Wasps in Delaware
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Delaware is a small state, but it’s home to a diverse array of wildlife, including wasps.

If you’re curious about the types of wasps in Delaware, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ll discuss the types of wasps in Delaware and what you need to know about them.

From their diet to their nesting habits, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the wasps of Delaware.

1. Weevil Wasp

This is the first on our list of types of wasps in Delaware. Weevils and other beetles are hunted and collected by members of the genus Cerceris.

Female wasps dig nests in the ground in regions with loose dirt and sand, such as baseball diamonds, parks, and beaches.

They condense the substance and produce cells, inside of which they lay fertilized eggs. They take off in flight in quest of sustenance for their larvae.

Women’s Weevil Wasps immobilize their victims by biting them. The paralyzed weevil or beetle is then taken back to the nest and placed within a compartment where it can still breathe but cannot move.

A newly hatched wasp larva starts devouring the alive, paralyzed weevil or beetle immediately. 

2. Ringed Paper Wasp

This is next on our list of types of wasps in Delaware. The upper body of the Ringed Paper Wasp is dark red or burgundy.

Except for a small yellow ring that wraps around it around the “waist,” the abdomen is entirely black. Legs are bright yellow in hue, and the antennae are black with orange-yellow tips. 

This wasp species builds its communal nests from a mixture of the plant pulp and saliva. The outcome is a papery orb that is grayish-brown in color and contains several cells for eggs and larvae.

Various places may be used to create nests, including inside shrubs, on the eaves of houses, and inside outbuildings like sheds or barns.

The wasps guard their nests by initially focusing all of their attention on an impending danger.

People should avoid approaching further after seeing that notification since the  wasps can sting, repeatedly

3. Sand Wasp

When separating Sand Wasps from other wasps, large yellow bands and a long, tubular abdomen are useful characteristics. Sand wasps are not particularly aggressive and only sting when provoked.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, sand Wasps may utilize humans as bait, hovering nearby to capture a fly interested in human sweat or food.

Even while a Sand Wasp may appear angry when it flies close to someone’s face, its main concern is attacking a nearby fly, not the person.

Sand Wasps can be found inland and along beachfront and dunes since loose, sandy soil is widespread over the continent and makes for good nesting places.

Women are skilled at digging quickly and making little tunnels to

4. Red Paper Wasp

This is one of the common types of wasps in Delaware. A few species in this genus go by the name Red Paper Wasp. They are all orange-red in color with jet-black wings.

They sluggishly fly at low altitudes, occasionally landing on people, animals, and things before taking off once more, occasionally going unnoticed.

Red paper wasps are not aggressive, but if they feel threatened, they will sting.

Nests are constructed from plant material and saliva. These gray papier-maché houses are fastened to bushes, shed and house eaves, and outdoor storage bins for patio cushions and water hoses.

Although they begin small, they quickly expand and have chambers for eggs and pupae that caregivers watch over.

Adult activity in a specific location is a reliable indicator that a nest has been established nearby

5. Potter Wasp

The Potter Wasp is a unique species of wasp that can be found in Delaware. They are small to medium-sized wasps with brownish-black bodies and yellow stripes along the abdomen.

Potter Wasps are solitary and nest in small mud nests that they construct. The nest is built around small beetles and their larvae that the wasp will feed to its own larvae.

Potter Wasps use the mud and soil they dig up to construct their nests, which they build in sheltered places such as under roof eaves and walls. While they are not aggressive, they will sting if they feel threatened.

6. Paper Wasp

The Paper Wasp (Polistes dorsalis dorsalis) is also on Delaware’s list of types of wasps.

This species is identified by its black and yellow striped abdomen, along with the orange-red wings and long antennae.

Paper Wasps construct nests made of paper-like material that hang on vegetation and other surfaces. 

The nest can reach up to 6 inches across and contains up to 25 cells. These cells are filled with larvae and sealed shut with a paper-like material.

Paper Wasps feed on nectar, pollen, and other insects and scavenge for food. They are considered beneficial insects because they help control insect pests in the environment.

7. Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp, also known as Megarhyssa nortoni, is one of Delaware’s largest types of wasps.

These wasps can reach up to an inch and a half in length, making them very noticeable in the wild.

They are also quite beautiful, with black and yellow markings along their bodies. While they may look intimidating, Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasps are actually quite harmless, despite their size.

These wasps primarily feed on wood-boring insects, helping to control the population of these pests in the area. 

These wasps can often be seen nesting in decaying logs and trees or in other dark, damp areas.

When it comes to defending their nests, these wasps are not known to be particularly aggressive; however, they can sting if provoked.

In most cases, however, they are more likely to fly away than attack a perceived threat.

Overall, these wasps play an important role in controlling pest populations in Delaware and should be appreciated for their unique beauty and helpfulness in keeping our environment healthy.

8. Northern Paper Wasp

The Northern Paper Wasp is one of the common types of wasp in Delaware. It is characterized by its brownish-gray coloring with yellow and black stripes on its head, thorax, and abdomen.

These types of wasps in Delaware typically build its nest from a paper-like material that it creates from plant fibers and saliva.

It is a social species and can be found living in colonies ranging from several individuals to more than 100. These wasps feed on nectar, small insects, and other food sources.

Northern Paper Wasps are beneficial to their environment as they help to control pest populations.

9. Metric Paper Wasp

The Metric Paper Wasp (Polistes metricus) is a species of wasp found throughout Delaware and the surrounding states.

It is most commonly found in sunny and open areas, often nesting in or near houses or other human-made structures. 

These types of wasps in Delaware can be identified by their large size and distinctive bright yellow and black coloration.

While the Metric Paper Wasp generally does not sting unless provoked, it can become aggressive if they feel threatened and should be treated cautiously.

Despite this, their presence can be beneficial, as they help control insect populations, especially in agricultural areas.

10. Leucospid Wasp

Leucospid Wasps are commonly found in the Delaware region. They are parasitic and hunt their prey. Usually, caterpillars feed their young.

These wasps have black or brown bodies with white stripes, varying in size depending on the species.

They typically build nests underground but can also be seen in tree trunks or deadwood crevices.

Leucospid Wasps benefit gardeners as they help control caterpillar populations, keeping them from destroying plants.

11. Thread-waisted Wasp

The female Sphex lucae has a small waist that joins its red-orange abdomen to its black head and thorax.

Though the small waist is as wide as a thread or hair, the physiology remains functional. Males have only black skin. 

When extended out, wings have an orange color. Females utilize their hair-spiked legs to draw up loose soil or sand as they dig tunnels into the ground.

In this burrow, fertilized eggs are laid, and the cells are filled with paralyzed caterpillars and katydids that are ready to be consumed by the larvae.

These types of wasps in Delaware may be alone or with other wasps of a similar species. Despite being regarded as a solitary species of wasp, it can be gregarious.

12. Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp

The Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp is a species of wasp native to Delaware and other parts of the United States.

These wasps measure between one and two centimeters in length and have four distinct spots on their bodies, hence their common name.

The Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp is a solitary species, meaning they do not form colonies or hives like other social wasp species.

They are primarily beneficial as they feed on caterpillars and other pest insects, helping to keep populations in check.

They also pollinate flowers, providing an important service for our ecosystem.

The Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp is one of the types of wasps in Delaware. They are found throughout Delaware, primarily during the summer months when they are most active.

They typically construct nests in protected areas, such as cracks in trees or walls and under porches or other protected structures.

These wasps can sting but are generally docile and will not attack unless provoked. In general, they should be left alone and admired from a distance.

13. Squarehead Wasp

The head of a Squarehead Wasp is best described as a rounded cube. Usually measuring 1 cm, this tiny flying insect is only long enough to sit across the pinky fingernail.

With most species showing vivid yellow bars near the “neck” and a yellow band just before the “waist,” the traditional black and yellow coloring is evident. Yellow bands can also be seen on the abdomen.

They have short, yellow antennas. Legs are also yellow, with dark feet and black “thighs.”

When resting or moving, the dark wings typically overlap and tuck back over the body. Females build their nests in pliable twigs or rotting, soft wood.

To provide her larvae with food once they hatch, she captures flies and stores them with her wasp eggs. 

14. Ichneumon Wasp

The Coelichneumon navus, commonly known as the Ichneumon Wasp, is a species of wasp found in Delaware.

These types of wasps in Delaware are predatory, feeding on various insects, including caterpillars and beetle larvae.

They are typically black and yellow with long antennae and two pairs of wings. They have a long thin waist that connects their thorax and abdomen.

These wasps play an important role in controlling insect populations by preying on their larvae. They also act as pollinators, transferring pollen from plant to plant as they feed on nectar.

15. Hyperparasitic Wasp

The Hyperparasitic Wasp (Taeniogonalos gundlachii) is a unique species of wasp found in the state of Delaware.

These wasps typically measure 1/4 inch in length and have an overall black body. 

They feed on other parasitic insects, such as caterpillars, and are one of the few species that attack already-infected hosts.

In Delaware, these wasps are often found nesting in old logs or in the crevices of tree bark.

While these wasps may be beneficial for controlling other pests, they can also be annoying if they become too numerous around a home or garden.

16. Spider Wasp

Although little is known about this species of wasps, it is known that they attack spiders with lightning speed.

Although they are infrequently observed, when they are, it is typically on blooms where they are aggressively searching for any spider that may appear.

Long, black wings have a blue tint to them. The abdomen can be entirely black, wholly red, or a blend of the two colors, depending on the species. 

17. Horntail Wasp

The Horntail Wasp is a species of wasp that can be found in Delaware. They are most commonly found living in wooded areas and in forests, but they can also be found in gardens and agricultural areas.

These types of wasps in Delaware are typically dark brown or black in color, with a unique horn-like appearance on their heads. 

They also have two distinctive yellow stripes running across their thorax and abdomen. The horntail wasp is a solitary species and prefers to build its nest in dead wood or stumps.

These nests are made of chewed wood pulp and contain up to 300 larvae. The larvae feed on beetle larvae and small insects, which helps control pest populations. 

Horntail wasps benefit the environment as they help keep pest populations under control, but they can become aggressive when threatened.

They will sting if provoked, so it is best to leave them alone. If you find a horntail wasp nest on your property, it is important to call a pest control expert for assistance in removing the nest safely.

18. Great Golden Digger Wasp

The Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) is a species of solitary wasp found in Delaware.

It is a medium-sized insect with yellow and black markings and is easily identifiable by its distinctive golden color. The female wasp is larger than the male, and both have long antennae. 

The Great Golden Digger Wasp feeds on other insects, particularly grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles.

These wasps are most active during summer months and can be found around gardens and fields. They rarely sting humans and will only do so in self-defense.

While these wasps are beneficial to gardens, as they help to control insect populations, they should be handled with caution as their stings can be painful.

19. Great Black Wasp

The next on our list of types of wasps in Delaware is the Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus).

It is a species of wasp that can be found in Delaware. It has a black body and yellow or white markings on the abdomen and head.

It can grow up to 1.5 inches in length and is usually seen hovering around flowers, looking for nectar or other insects to feed on.

The Great Black Wasp is also known for its powerful sting, which it will use to defend itself from predators.

The Great Black Wasp is most commonly found in wooded areas and gardens where it will build nests.

These nests are typically constructed of mud and contain multiple cells for the wasps’ eggs. The wasps will guard the nests fiercely, making them difficult to remove.

While the Great Black Wasp’s sting is painful, it is not considered deadly and rarely causes long-term health problems.

20. Giant Ichneumon Wasp

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa spp) is a large and impressive species of wasp that can be found in Delaware. They can be recognized by their long, thin bodies and large antennae.

The larvae of this species feed on wood-boring beetle larvae found inside tree trunks, making them an important part of the local ecosystem. 

Giant Ichneumon are one of the types of Wasps in Delaware that are non-aggressive and will not sting unless provoked.

They can be observed in wooded areas, where they often rest on branches or leaves, searching for prey.

21. Five-banded Thynnid Wasp

The five-banded thynnid wasp is a small wasp, usually around 2/3 inch long, with a yellow or brown body and two yellow stripes running down the length of its abdomen.

They are often seen hovering around flowers in search of caterpillars to feed on or on the ground, searching for nesting sites. 

The females lay their eggs in the soil, which will then hatch into larvae that feed on caterpillars. These wasps benefit gardeners and farmers since they help control pest populations.

The five-banded thynnid wasp is found throughout Delaware and can be seen in gardens, fields, and wooded areas.

22. European Paper Wasp

The European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula) is a species of wasp that can be found in Delaware.

It is a slender, yellow, and black insect with a long body, measuring between 1-1.5 inches in length. 

These types of wasps in Delaware build their nest near human habitation, often near windows or other sunny locations.

These wasps have been known to scavenge for food, including garbage and rotting fruit, though they primarily feed on small flying insects.

They are solitary insects, meaning only one wasp lives in each nest. These wasps are not aggressive but will defend their nest if threatened.

If you find a nest on your property, it’s best to leave them alone and not attempt to remove it.

23. Double-banded Scoliid Wasp

The double-banded scoliid wasp is a species of solitary wasps found in Delaware. This species is a medium-sized insect, with females ranging from 10 to 15 millimeters in length.

They have an orange and black body, with two black bands on their abdomen and yellow stripes on their legs. The head and thorax are black, and the wings are clear.

The double-banded scoliid wasp has a wide range of prey, including caterpillars, beetles, and flies. They can be found in gardens, woodlands, meadows, and fields.

The double-banded scoliid wasp is beneficial to the environment because it preys on various pests, reducing the populations of insects that can cause damage to crops or plants.

The female wasps build nests out of soil and sand particles which they bring back to their nest. Inside the nest, they lay eggs and feed the larvae until they mature. The female then seals the nest and leaves.

These types of wasps in Delaware are not aggressive but will sting if threatened or disturbed. They are considered non-aggressive and harmless to humans.

24. Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasps are a fascinating species of wasp that can be found in Delaware. They are quite small and typically measure around 4 to 8 millimeters in length.

They have black and yellow stripes on their abdomens, and their wings are clear with a blue-green hue. 

Cuckoo types of wasps in Delaware are parasitic, meaning they lay their eggs in the nests of other insects such as bees, wasps, and ants. This makes them important predators and beneficial to the environment.

They feed on the larvae of other insects and help control some pests’ populations. Cuckoo Wasps are not aggressive toward humans and should not be feared.

25. Common Thread-waisted Wasp

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera) is one of Delaware’s most common types of wasps.

They are about 1-2 inches in length and black in color, with a yellowish-orange abdomen and thick, yellowish-white bands on their wings. 

These types of wasps in Delaware are easily distinguishable by the long threads on their waist.

They build their nests in the ground by digging small tunnels and creating cells to lay their eggs. They mostly feed on caterpillars, other insects, nectar, and plant sap.

These wasps are important pollinators and should not be considered a pest unless they nest too close to homes or other human habitats.

26. Common Paper Wasp

The Common Paper Wasp is the next on our list of types of wasps in Delaware. This species can be identified by its bright yellow and orange stripes on the abdomen and its black head.

These wasps build their nests out of gray or brown paper-like material, which they make by chewing wood fibers.

They are commonly seen in gardens and fields throughout Delaware, especially in the summertime.

The Common Paper Wasp is an important pollinator of many plants and provides a valuable service to Delaware’s environment.

They feed mainly on nectar and caterpillars, and their colonies can consist of up to 30 individuals. Their sting is painful but not life-threatening and should be avoided if possible.

If necessary, people should take care to use insect repellent when in areas where these wasps may be present.

27. Braconid Wasp

The Braconid Wasp is a type of small wasp that can be found in Delaware.

It belongs to the family Braconidae and is known for its unique behavior of laying eggs within other insects. As such, it acts as a parasitoid, feeding off the host.

The female Braconid Wasp usually selects caterpillars or beetle larvae for their hosts and will lay up to 200 eggs in them.

The hatched larvae feed on the host, eventually killing it until they reach adulthood and emerge from the host as adults.

28. Blue-winged Wasp

The Blue-winged Wasp (Scolia dubia) is a type of wasp found in Delaware. These wasps are usually black with a metallic blue sheen and are usually around half an inch in length.

They have small yellow spots on their heads and bodies and yellow antennae. They can be found in wooded areas and vegetation such as trees and shrubs.

Blue-winged Wasps feed on nectar and pollen, and they are often seen in gardens where flowering plants are present. They also help to pollinate many different types of plants.

Blue-winged Wasps can sometimes be aggressive when disturbed, but they are not considered to be dangerous.

These wasps benefit Delaware’s ecosystem, as they help control insect populations by preying on other insects, such as aphids and caterpillars. 

Also, these types of wasps in Delaware provide food for many birds, reptiles, and other animals.

For these reasons, it’s important to ensure that these wasps have enough space to live and thrive in Delaware’s environment.

If you find a Blue-winged Wasp in your garden, it is best to leave it alone as it will likely move on its own.

29. American Pelecinid Wasp

This is the last on our list of types of wasps in Delaware. The American Pelecinid Wasp is a type of wasp found in Delaware and across the eastern United States.

These wasps are characterized by their dark coloration, long bodies, and yellow stripes. They typically measure 1-2 inches and have an antennae length of 0.5 inches.

These wasps are solitary creatures, so you won’t find them in swarms like other types of wasps.

They feed on various insects and larvae but can also benefit crops because they help keep pest populations in check.


Delaware may be small in size, but it is home to a wide variety of wasp species. From paper wasps to American Pelecinid Wasps, this state has it all when it comes to wasps.

Hope we have increased your knowledge of different types of wasps in Delaware.

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