19 Types of Wasps in Maryland

Types of Wasps in Maryland
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Have you ever wondered about the types of wasps in Maryland? Wasps can benefit the environment, so it’s important to understand the different types of wasps in your area.

This blog post will explore the various types of wasps native to Maryland

From the large European Hornet to the smaller Paper Wasp, learn all about the different species of wasps that can be found in the state.

Maryland is home to many different species of wasps, each with unique characteristics.

From the large and intimidating hornets to the small and often overlooked yellow jackets, a wide variety of wasps can be found throughout the state. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of Maryland’s more common types of wasps, from the fearsome European hornet to the harmless paper wasp.

By learning more about Maryland’s different types of wasps, you can help protect yourself and your family from their dangers. Shall we?

1. Weevil Wasp

The Weevil Wasp, also known as Cerceris spp., starts our list of the types of wasps in Maryland.

This small, solitary wasp is typically black and yellow in color and ranges in size from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in length.

The Weevil Wasp hunts various weevil species, paralyzing them with a sting before returning them to its burrow to lay eggs.

This type of wasp is known for its careful precision when hunting its prey and is an important part of the natural ecosystem. 

They can be seen buzzing around gardens, fields, or anywhere else that is home to their preferred prey.

While Weevil Wasps are generally not aggressive toward humans, it is best to stay away as any wasp may sting if disturbed or threatened.

2. Spider Wasp

Spider Wasps, also known as Entypus, are impressive types of wasps in Maryland.

These solitary predators hunt and sting spiders as prey, then paralyze them before dragging them back to their nests to feed their larvae.

They have a black body with an orange-red patch on their thorax and dark brown wings. They are easily recognizable by their long antennae and distinctive flight patterns.

Spider Wasps are extremely beneficial insects, helping control Maryland’s spider population.

They can often be seen darting around in gardens, woodlands, and meadows.

If you spot one of these fascinating creatures, remember not to disturb them, as they play an important role in our ecosystem.

3. Thread-Waisted Wasp

Thread-Waisted Wasp
by cotinis is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Thread-waisted wasps, also known as Sphex lucae, are a species of wasp found in Maryland.

These insects are typically identified by their long, thin waist and black and yellow stripes on their bodies.

Thread-waisted wasps, one of the types of wasps in Maryland, feed on other insects, larvae, and nectar.

They construct burrows and nests in the soil and often hunt for food in the evening.

The female thread-waisted wasp is responsible for laying her eggs in the soil.

She also feeds her young until they hatch and develop into adult wasps. The adults can then search for food and build their own nests.

Thread-waisted wasps benefit their environment as predators help control pest populations.

4. Squarehead Wasp

Squarehead Wasp - Types of Wasps in Iowa
by Mary Keim is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Squarehead Wasp, or Ectemnius spp., is a type of wasp commonly found in Maryland.

Its distinctive, square-shaped head and reddish-brown and yellow-striped abdomen can easily identify this species.

These wasps are solitary insects, meaning they live and hunt alone.

They are not left out from our list of types of wasps in Maryland, and they primarily feed on aphids, small insects, and spiders.

Squarehead Wasps build their nests in the ground, composed of a few cells connected to each other with mud and plant material.

The nests are generally found in dry, open places such as meadows, gardens, and lawns.

Despite their ability to sting humans if threatened, Squarehead Wasps are important pollinators and help to control pest populations.

5. Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp
by gbohne is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion spp.) is one of the types of wasps in Maryland that are found throughout.

This wasp species is commonly seen in the state’s wooded areas but can also be found in more open and sunny areas.

These wasps have long, slender bodies and a bright yellow to orange color. Their wings are white or yellowish in color. 

The Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp feeds on small insects and spiders, and they are sometimes mistaken for bees due to their similar coloring and size.

However, these wasps do not sting humans, as they do not possess stingers like bees.

They are considered beneficial to the environment due to their predatory behavior towards other small insects.

6. Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp
by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sand Wasps, belonging to the Bembix genus, are especially common types in Maryland.

Sand Wasps are solitary insects and usually have a metallic black and yellow color.

They are often found on sandy beaches but inhabit other areas such as grasslands, fields, and gardens.

The most common of these species is Bembix Americana.

Sand Wasps feed mainly on other insects, building their nest by digging small holes in sandy soil.

They lay eggs in these nests, which will later hatch into larvae.

Once the larvae mature, they become adult wasps that will go on to make their own nests.

7. Potter Wasp

Potter Wasp
by wildxplorer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Potter Wasp, or Ancistrocerus antilope, is a type of wasp native to Maryland.

These wasps are typically found in woodland areas and on the edges of fields and meadows.

Their black bodies identify them with yellow markings and their ability to form clay-like nests that they use to raise their young. 

Potter Wasps feed on flower nectar and caterpillars, which they gather and return to their nest.

They can be seen hovering around flowers, looking for food.

Potter Wasps, one of the various types in Maryland, also help control insect populations. 

The females lay eggs inside a caterpillar host, where the larva develops and feeds on the host until it pupates into an adult wasp.

This helps keep the caterpillar population under control in the area.

The Potter Wasp is important in the garden or your home as a beneficial species.

8. Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa nortoni) is one of the most commonly found types of wasps in Maryland.

This large wasp species can be recognized by its long antennae and bright orange and black striped body.

The female wasps have especially long ovipositors, which they use to drill into wood and inject their eggs into the larvae of wood-boring insects. 

While not typically considered dangerous to humans, they can give a painful sting if provoked.

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp is one of the types of wasps in Maryland and an important part of the local ecosystem.

As predators of wood-boring insects, these wasps help to keep populations in check and prevent significant damage to trees and other structures.

They also play a role in pollination, though to a lesser extent than other species of wasps.

By providing this beneficial service to the environment, Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp is an important species in Maryland.

9. Leucospid Wasp

Common types of wasps in Maryland? Leucospid wasps (Leucospis spp.) is one of them.

These small, solitary wasps have dark, metallic bodies that usually measure around 1 cm long.

They prefer to nest in dry, dark locations such as logs, stumps, and tree trunks.

Leucospid wasps are not aggressive and do not threaten humans, but their nests can still be a nuisance.

Sealing off potential entry points like cracks and crevices is important to prevent them from nesting in or around your home.

If you find an existing nest, you can safely use an insecticide to remove it.

10. Ichneumon Wasps

Ichneumon wasps, also known as ichneumonid wasps, are large and diverse in Maryland.

They are often mistaken for hornets due to their bright colors and long antennae. However, these wasps are usually much smaller than hornets. 

They use their long ovipositors to inject eggs into their host’s bodies and feed on the larvae that develop within.

These wasps play an important role in controlling insect populations.

They can help reduce populations of destructive pest insects, such as caterpillars, sawflies, and grasshoppers. 

Controlling these pests they help maintain the balance of the local ecosystem. Ichneumon wasps can be seen in gardens, wooded areas, and open fields.

While they may seem intimidating due to their size and coloration, they are generally harmless to humans and are a welcome part of the local environment.

11. Horntail Wasp

Horntail Wasp - Types of Wasps in Iowa
by popo.uw23 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

The Horntail Wasp is a type of wasp found in Maryland. It has a distinct, long, yellow-brown body measuring up to 1 1⁄2 inches long.

The head of the wasp has a pointed horn, which gives it its name. 

These wasps are considered beneficial insects because they are predators of wood-boring beetle larvae.

The female horntail wasp lays eggs in dead wood, where the larvae feed on the decaying wood and beetle larvae.

The larvae eventually pupate and emerge as adults during the late summer months. 

These wasps are typically seen flying around trees and logs, seeking places to lay their eggs.

There are also types of wasps in Maryland that are solitary and rarely sting unless threatened or disturbed.

12. Great Golden Digger Wasp

Great Golden Digger Wasp
by Gabriel Kamener is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a type of wasp commonly found in Maryland.

This wasp is medium-sized, measuring around 3/4 inches long, and has a reddish-brown body with yellow markings on its abdomen.

They are also known for their large mandibles used for hunting and digging burrows.

There are also wonderful types of wasps in Maryland. The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a solitary wasp, meaning they do not live in colonies or have a queen.

Instead, they live independently and make individual nests in the ground, where they lay their eggs.

These wasps mainly feed on nectar and sap from trees, but they are also known to prey on other insects.

13. Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Giant Ichneumon Wasp - Types of Wasps in Iowa
by Kerry Wixted is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa nortoni) is one of Maryland’s most impressive-looking types of wasps.

This species is a large, black wasp with an orange-colored body and can measure up to two inches long.

This wasp also has a long, thin ovipositor that it uses to drill into wood and lay its eggs inside tree trunks.

It is an important predator of wood-boring insects, and its appearance is intimidating.

As one of the types of wasps in Maryland, the Giant Ichneumon Wasp is relatively rare, so it isn’t commonly seen.

However, if you spot one of these impressive wasps, you should know that they are harmless to humans and generally won’t sting unless disturbed or provoked.

As such, they are an important part of Maryland’s natural environment and should be respected.

14. European Paper Wasp

European Paper Wasp
by Goshzilla – Dann is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The European paper wasp is a type of wasp that is commonly found in Maryland.

This type of wasp is easily identifiable by its bright yellow and black stripes and distinctively long legs.

It has a similar body shape to other paper wasps, with a narrow waist and long antennae.

The European paper wasp builds its nest out of thin paper-like material, usually tucked away under porch eaves or other sheltered places.

On this list of the various types of wasps in Maryland, European paper wasps are generally quite docile and rarely sting humans.

However, they can become aggressive if provoked. If you encounter a European paper wasp nest, it is best to observe from a safe distance and not disturb the wasps.

If you must remove the nest, always use protective clothing and follow safety precautions to prevent getting stung.

15. Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp - Types of Wasps in Iowa
by Frank.Vassen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cuckoo Wasps are among the many types of wasps in Maryland.

They are typically about 2 inches long and have yellow-orange stripes on their abdomens.

They hunt for prey, such as cicadas, during the summer months and feed on the nectar of flowers. 

While they do not normally attack humans, they may sting if provoked. It is important to take caution when near them and to leave them alone if possible.

These solitary wasps build small nests near the ground or in crevices. 

If a nest is found, it is best to leave it alone, as Cuckoo Wasps are beneficial in controlling cicada populations.

To reduce the risk of being stung, avoiding areas where these wasps may live and wearing protective clothing if necessary is recommended.

16. Common Thread-Waisted Wasp

Common Thread-Waisted Wasp
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera) is one of Maryland’s most common wasp species.

This species has a long, slender waist, black and yellow striped body, and reddish-brown wings.

Of the different types of wasps in Maryland, it is a solitary wasp that builds its nest in sandy soil near wooded areas. 

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp feeds on caterpillars and other insects and helps to control the population of these pests.

This species is an important member of the local ecosystem, as it helps to keep the balance between prey and predator species.

Despite its small size, the Common Thread-waisted Wasp can deliver a painful sting, so it is best to avoid them if possible.

17. Boll’s Potter Wasp

The Boll’s Potter Wasp (Eumenes bollii) is a type of wasp native to Maryland and surrounding areas.

It is easily identified by its black and yellow body markings and distinctive potter nest, which it builds out of clay and mud.

The potter nest is unique because it is the only wasp nest completely covered by a dome-shaped structure.

This dome helps protect the nest from the elements, predators, and parasites.

Boll’s Potter Wasp builds its nests in small groups or colonies and feeds on insects, such as caterpillars, beetle larvae, and spiders.

They are relatively peaceful wasps and do not aggressively attack humans unless provoked.

However, there are types of wasps in Maryland that can still sting if they feel threatened.

Although they are generally considered harmless, it is best to avoid disturbing their nest as they may become defensive if provoked.

18. Braconid Wasp

Braconid Wasp - Types of Wasps in Iowa
by zosterops is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

As we approach the end of this list of the many types of wasps in Maryland, the Braconid Wasp is not missing.

This small, dark-colored insect is a member of the family Braconidae and can be identified by its slender body and long antennae.

Over 1,800 species of Braconid Wasps are found worldwide, many of which are found in Maryland.

Braconid Wasps are considered to be beneficial to gardeners as they prey on many species of insects that feed on garden plants, such as aphids and caterpillars.

The female Braconid Wasp will lay eggs on her host’s body, typically a caterpillar or aphid. This is where her larvae will feed on the host until it is ready to pupate. 

These insects have distinct features, including three-segmented antennae, two pairs of wings, and two compound eyes.

They range in size from 2 to 30 millimeters and are usually black or brown. Braconid Wasps are also quite hardy and can survive cold and dry temperatures.

For gardeners looking to protect their plants from harmful insects, Braconid Wasps, one of the types of wasps in Maryland, can be an effective natural defense.

By attracting these beneficial insects to your garden, you can help control pests without resorting to pesticides.

19. Common Paper Wasp

When it comes to wasps, a wide variety of species are present in Maryland. One of Maryland’s more common types of wasps is the Common Paper Wasp (Polistes exclamans).

This particular species is easy to recognize due to its reddish-brown coloring and its size, which ranges between 0.6 to 0.9 inches in length. 

The Common Paper Wasp is social in nature and builds its nest by constructing a paper comb made of thin layers of gray or brown paper.

This nest is typically suspended from an overhang like a roof or tree branch. As they are social, the nest is usually inhabited by several generations of wasps. 

The colonies have a single queen, and all other nest inhabitants are female workers who feed the larvae. These wasps feed on nectar, fruit, and other insects.

They do not generally sting unless provoked, but if disturbed, they may sting in defense of the colony.

So, if you spend time outside, be mindful of their presence and always observe from a safe distance. 

Overall, the Common Paper Wasp is a fascinating creature to observe and appreciate from a distance.

It serves an important role in the local ecosystem, so do your part to help protect them! It ends our list of the different types of wasps in Maryland.


Did you know that Maryland is home to various species of wasps? Whether you’re a bug enthusiast or just curious about the types of wasps in Maryland, you’re in luck! 

In this blog post, we explored the different types of wasps in Maryland that you’ll find. From solitary ground-nesting wasps to social paper wasps, we covered them all!

This article provides all you need to learn more about Maryland’s different types of wasps and how to identify them.

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