Mississippi is home to various insects, including a diverse array of wasps. From the common paper wasp to the more elusive cicada killer, there are many types of wasps in Mississippi.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the different types of wasps that call Mississippi home, looking at their appearance, behavior, and nesting habits.
We’ll also discuss how to identify different types of wasps in Mississippi and what to do if you come into contact with them.
If you’re curious about the different types of wasps you can find in Mississippi, you’ve come to the right place! Wasps are a diverse family of insects that come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi. From social wasps to solitary wasps, we’ll discuss their behavior and habits and how to identify them.
So read on to learn more about the buzzing creatures of Mississippi!
1. Noble Scoliid Wasp
The Noble Scoliid Wasp (Scolia noblitata) is the first on our list of the types of wasps in Mississippi.
These wasps are about 1 inch in size and have a mostly black body with yellow markings on the legs, abdomen, and thorax. The wings are clear, and the head has two small yellow stripes.
These wasps are usually found near wooded areas such as forests, swamps, and meadows. They typically feed on other insects, spiders, and nectar larvae.
These wasps are solitary, meaning they do not form colonies like some other species of wasps.
They create their nests in hollowed-out logs and tree trunks or areas with loose soil, such as banks and embankments.
The females lay their eggs in the nests and then seal them up with mud. After hatching, the larvae feed on the insects and spiders present in the area before eventually emerging as adults.
2. Northern Paper Wasp
The Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) is a type of wasp native to Mississippi and other parts of the southern United States.
This wasp species is an active pollinator found in gardens, fields, and forests. They have large colonies of up to several hundred individuals and make their nests from a paper-like material which they make from chewed wood fiber and their saliva. The nests are often found in sheltered areas like eaves or walls.
These wasps have yellow and black bands on their body, with a yellow head and thorax. These types of wasps in Mississippi are typically between 0.5 to 1 inch long. Their diet consists of other insects, nectar, and fruit.
The Northern Paper Wasp is considered beneficial as they help to keep pest insect populations under control.
3. Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp
Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa nortoni) is a species of large, parasitic wasp found in the United States, primarily in Mississippi.
This wasp species is typically seen in deciduous forests and is particularly fond of decaying trees. Its body length can reach over an inch and a half, making it one of the largest species of wasps.
The female of this species uses its long ovipositor to insert her eggs into the larvae of other large wood-boring insects. It typically only lays its eggs once a year during the summer months.
Like other types of wasps in Mississippi, this species is considered beneficial to the environment as it helps keep insect populations in check.
4. Paper Wasp
The paper wasp (Polistes spp.) is one of the most commonly seen types of wasps in Mississippi. These slender wasps have a dark-brown or black body and yellow-orange markings on their heads and thorax.
They are typically between 1⁄2 and 1 inch long, with long, slender wings.
The paper wasp plays an important role in the Mississippi ecosystem by helping to control certain insect pests.
They feed on many insects, such as aphids, caterpillars, and scale insects. They also help to pollinate flowers and assist in dispersing the seeds of certain plants.
5. Potter Wasp
The Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus) is one of the types of wasps in Mississippi. This species can be identified by its dark brown or black body with bright yellow markings on the thorax and legs.
They also have orange antennae and wings, making them easily distinguishable from other types of wasps.
The Potter Wasp builds its nest from clay and mud, forming them into small, cup-like structures. These nests are often attached to trees, rocks, or other structures.
The female Potter Wasp lays her eggs inside the nests, where she also provides food for. Once the larvae hatch, they will remain inside until they reach adulthood.
6. Red Paper Wasp
The Red Paper Wasp (Polistes spp.) is one of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi. These wasps build their nests on the undersides of leaves, awnings, and porch ceilings. The nests are made from small bits of wood and paper.
They usually consist of several cells arranged in a vertical row, with a single entrance at the bottom.
Further, Red Paper Wasps feed on nectar and various other insects such as aphids, caterpillars, and flies. They also help to pollinate flowers, making them beneficial to gardens and agricultural crops.
While they can be aggressive when provoked, they are not generally considered a nuisance pest. In most cases, they should be left alone and will not cause any harm.
7. Red-and-Black Mason Wasp
The Red-and-black Mason Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis) is a type of wasp found in Mississippi. These wasps are small, with black and red bands and a wingspan that averages 1.5 inches.
The Red-and-black Mason Wasp is a solitary species, preferring to nest in abandoned or abandoned-looking areas.
They build their nests by mixing sand, soil, and saliva to form paper-like mounds, which they use to raise their young.
The Red-and-black Mason Wasp is a beneficial insect, as it feeds on other insects like caterpillars, beetles, and flies.
They are types of wasps in Mississippi, and they also help to pollinate flowers, making it an important part of the ecosystem in the state.
Despite its small size and non-aggressive nature, the Red-and-black Mason Wasp should be handled carefully as it can sting if provoked.
8. Ringed Paper Wasp
The Ringed Paper Wasp is one type of wasp commonly found in Mississippi. They are often seen hovering around flowers or perched on a plant stem and are very important pollinators.
These wasps are relatively small in size, measuring only about half an inch in length.
In addition, they have bright yellow and black markings, and their bodies are covered with small hairs. They feed on nectar and other insects, such as caterpillars, making them an important part of the ecosystem.
The Ringed Paper Wasp is an essential part of the natural environment in Mississippi, helping to support the food web by keeping insect populations in check.
9. Sand Wasp
The Sand Wasp is a type of wasp commonly found in Mississippi. These wasps are typically dark-colored with yellow bands around their abdomens.
They usually live in sandy habitats near coastal areas but can also be found in woodlands and forests.
Meanwhile, the Sand Wasp is a solitary species, meaning they do not live in colonies or hives like other types of wasps in Mississippi. These insects can be identified by their short and round body shape.
Sand Wasps are known to prey on small insects like grasshoppers and caterpillars, which they will feed their young.
They often build burrows in the sand to raise their young, but they may also use cavities like hollowed logs and tree stumps.
To protect their nests, Sand Wasps will often guard the entrance of their burrows and attack any intruder that comes near.
10. Scoliid Wasp
The Scoliid Wasp is a species of wasp native to Mississippi and can be found throughout the region. This type of wasp is known for its distinctive black and yellow coloration and can reach up to 3/4 inches in length.
Scoliid Wasps are solitary insects that feed on plant nectar and the larvae of certain moths and butterflies. They can often be seen flying around in sunny areas and near trees or shrubs.
Scoliid Wasps have an interesting defense mechanism when threatened. If disturbed, they will curl up their abdomen, making it difficult for a potential predator to grab them. They can also spray a chemical from their stingers that can deter predators.
It is important to note that while these particular types of wasps in Mississippi may look intimidating, Scoliid Wasps rarely sting humans and are generally harmless.
11. Spider Wasp
The Spider Wasp, or Auplopus mellipes, is a type of wasp that can be found in Mississippi.
This species is found throughout the eastern half of North America, making it a common sight in the Magnolia State. It is a solitary wasp that prefers to build its nest in wood or tree cavities.
The Spider Wasp is also unique because of its ability to paralyze spiders and use them as food for its larvae.
Of the different types of wasps in Mississippi, the Spider Wasp is an interesting species that can be observed from early spring until fall. Its bright yellow and black stripes make it easy to identify among other insects in the area.
While the Spider Wasp poses no threat to humans, it can become quite aggressive if disturbed. For this reason, it is best to observe it from a distance and leave it alone to do its job.
12. Squarehead Wasp
The Squarehead Wasp, also known as Ectemnius spp., is a species of solitary types of wasps in Mississippi. These wasps have black and yellow stripes on their bodies and can reach up to 3⁄4 inches in length.
They are typically seen in gardens, paths, and wooded areas. This species feeds on nectar and pollen and is not known to be aggressive toward humans or other animals.
13. Thread-Waisted Wasp
The Thread-waisted Wasp, also known as Eremnophila aureonotata, is a type of wasp that can be found in Mississippi.
This wasp species is quite small, typically measuring around one centimeter long. They have reddish-brown and yellow markings on their bodies and have long, thread-like abdomens.
These wasps feed mainly on caterpillars and other insects, making them beneficial to gardeners and farmers who are dealing with pest problems.
The Thread-waisted Wasp is usually found near areas with plenty of vegetation and moist soil, such as forests and meadows.
These specific types of wasps in Mississippi will often create their nests in the ground or in trees, where they lay their eggs.
If disturbed, these wasps may become aggressive and sting, so it is important to leave them alone if encountered.
14. Weevil Wasp
The Weevil Wasp (Cerceris spp.) is one of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi. This solitary wasp has a black body and yellow markings and can be found near meadows and woodlands.
The female Weevil Wasp builds its nest in sandy soils, preying on weevils and beetle larvae, which it catches and then seals into the nest as food for its young.
These solitary wasps are important in controlling pest populations, making them beneficial to the local environment.
15. Four-Toothed Mason Wasp
The Four-toothed Mason Wasp (Monobia quadridens) is not left out of this list of the types of wasps in Mississippi.
This species has a long, black body and four distinct yellow stripes running down the length of its back. It has a pair of transparent wings that it uses to fly and hunt for food.
The Four-toothed Mason Wasp is an effective predator and primarily feeds on caterpillars and other small insects.
The female builds her nest in mortar joints of brick walls, hollowed trees, and similar cavities where she deposits her eggs. Upon hatching, the larvae feed on the paralyzed prey supplied by their mother until they mature into adults.
16. European Paper Wasp
The European paper wasp is likewise one of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi. This species of wasp is easily recognizable by its yellow and black stripes along its body, and it is usually around 0.6-0.7 inches in size.
The paper wasp builds nests made of a paper-like material, which they construct out of chewed wood fiber. These nests can often be found under eaves or in sheltered areas such as inside sheds or garages.
European paper wasps are considered beneficial to the environment due to their role as pollinators, but they can become aggressive if their nests are disturbed.
For this reason, it is best to leave them alone and avoid any contact with their nests if possible. If you need to remove a nest, it is best to call a professional pest control company for help.
17. Cuckoo Wasp
The different types of wasps in Mississippi can get confusing if you aren’t familiar with them. The cuckoo wasp is one of them.
These insects are small and slender and are easily recognized by their distinctive black and yellow stripes. They are solitary wasps, meaning they do not form nests or colonies like other types of wasps.
Cuckoo wasps feed mainly on caterpillars and grubs and can be found in woodlands, parks, and gardens.
In Mississippi, they are commonly found near flowering plants, as they are attracted to their nectar. They can also be seen hovering around decaying logs, under rocks, and in leaf litter.
18. Common Thread-Waisted Wasp
The common thread-waisted wasp (Ammophila procera) is a type of wasp that can be found in Mississippi.
This wasp is known for its long, narrow waist and long legs. They are typically black or dark brown in color and have four yellow bands on their abdomen.
Furthermore, the wings are transparent, and the eyes are reddish-brown. These wasps feed on nectar and small insects and play an important role in controlling pest populations.
Thread-waisted wasps are social creatures and are often seen in large numbers flying around flowers, searching for food.
They can be identified by their long body, antennae, and large size compared to other wasps.
In Mississippi, these wasps are most commonly found during the summer months. They can be seen flying around gardens and meadows, feeding on nectar and pollen.
19. Common Paper Wasp
The common paper wasp (Polistes exclamans) is one of the most commonly seen types of wasps in Mississippi.
These social wasps are often found around homes and gardens. A thin body characterizes them with reddish-brown and black stripes and a yellowish head.
The paper wasp will build its nest out of chewed wood fibers that they mix with saliva to form a type of paper-like material.
These wasps feed on nectar, pollen from plants and trees, and small insects. They also play an important role in controlling garden pests such as aphids, caterpillars, and beetles.
However, these wasps can become a nuisance if their nest is too close to the home or if they become aggressive toward people or pets.
It is important to exercise caution if you spot a paper wasp nest and to contact a pest control professional if needed.
20. Braconid Wasp
Like others, the Braconid Wasp (Atanycolus spp.) is one of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi. These wasps are typically small and black with white or yellow stripes and parasitic in nature.
They are often found around flowers and feed on nectar, honeydew, and other sweet substances.
Braconid Wasps typically lay their eggs on caterpillars or other insect larvae. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the host organism until adulthood, when they emerge from their cocoons as fully-grown adult wasps.
This type of wasp can benefit gardeners as it can help reduce the populations of harmful insects in the area.
21. Blue-Winged Wasp
The Blue-winged Wasp (Scolia dubia) is an important type of wasp native to Mississippi.
This species is often found in woodland and grassland habitats in the state. It prefers well-drained, sandy soil and open, sunny areas.
The adult wasps have a metallic blue or green sheen on their wings, while the body is black with yellow stripes on the abdomen.
The Blue-winged Wasp, on the list of the types of wasps in Mississippi, is an important pollinator and an effective predator of garden pests.
They feed mainly on nectar from flowers and also help control populations of aphids, caterpillars, and other garden pests. They are also used as a form of biological pest control in agricultural settings.
22. Horntail Wasp
The Horntail Wasp is a type of wasp found in Mississippi. These wasps are characterized by their long, thin bodies and large, saw-like ovipositor, giving them their name.
They feed on dead wood, decaying plant material, and other organic matter. Their larvae feed on wood-boring beetle larvae, helping to keep populations of damaging pests in check.
These types of wasps in Mississippi are beneficial predators that can help to keep garden pests at bay. These wasps typically build their nests in standing dead trees or stumps.
This wasp species has many different subspecies in Mississippi, some of which may also live in other parts of the United States.
If you are looking for a pest control option that doesn’t involve spraying harmful chemicals, the Horntail Wasp may be a good choice.
23. Giant Ichneumon Wasp
The Giant Ichneumon Wasp, also known as the Long-tailed or Megarhyssa macrurus, is one of Mississippi’s most common types of wasps. It is a large, black wasp with a long, slender abdomen and a wingspan of up to 3 inches.
This type of wasp feeds on wood-boring insects, such as beetles and caterpillars. It is an important predator that helps keep these pests in check.
The Giant Ichneumon Wasp has a unique ovipositor that is used to inject its eggs into the bodies of its hosts. The larvae then hatch inside the host, feeding off its tissue until they emerge as adult wasps.
In Mississippi, the Giant Ichneumon Wasp is most commonly seen from late spring through early autumn. It is an important part of the local ecosystem, providing a natural form of pest control.
24. Great Golden Digger Wasp
The Great Golden Digger Wasp, also known as Sphex ichneumoneus, is a type of wasp native to Mississippi and the surrounding area. This wasp species is known for its large size, gold coloring, and long wingspan.
The Great Golden Digger Wasp primarily feeds on insects, such as caterpillars, which it paralyzes with its sting and stores in its nest for later consumption by its larvae.
Although these wasps may appear intimidating, they are relatively docile and rarely sting unless provoked.
It is important to note that although these wasps are beneficial in controlling insect populations, their nests should be left undisturbed if encountered. We aren’t done with this list of the types of wasps in Mississippi yet; continue reading.
25. Great Black Wasp
The Great Black Wasp, or Sphex pensylvanicus, is a species of wasp native to Mississippi and other regions of North America.
This wasp species is black in color, with yellowish-orange stripes along its body. It has an average body length of 1 inch and a wingspan of 1.5 inches.
This wasp is considered a beneficial insect as it is a predator that preys on other insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars.
The Great Black Wasp is an important pollinator of flowers, trees, and other plants. This species of wasp can be found in fields and meadows across the state of Mississippi. They are active during the daytime, searching for prey and gathering nectar from flowers.
If you spot one of these types of wasps in Mississippi, it’s best to leave it alone since they don’t typically sting unless provoked.
26. Giant Ichneumon Wasp
The Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa spp) is a type of wasp native to Mississippi. These wasps are large and can grow up to 2 inches in length.
They have long, slender bodies ranging from black to yellow-brown, with some having red or orange markings.
Additionally, the Giant Ichneumon Wasp, one of the various types of wasps in Mississippi, feeds on wood-boring beetle larvae. This makes them beneficial to the environment by helping to control beetle populations.
While they don’t threaten humans, they should be handled with care, as they can sting if provoked.
27. Hyperparasitic Wasp
The Hyperparasitic Wasp (Taeniogonalos gundlachii) is a species of wasp found in Mississippi. This wasp has an interesting life cycle, beginning as a parasitoid on the larvae of several moth and butterfly species.
The larvae are then laid in the nests of their hosts, where they feed and grow until they reach adulthood. Once they become adults, the wasps fly off to find other host nests and repeat the cycle.
The Hyperparasitic Wasp is one of many types of wasps in Mississippi, but it stands out from the others due to its unique lifecycle.
Its presence in Mississippi is important for maintaining a healthy population of moths and butterflies, as it helps to keep their populations in check.
28. Large Four-Spotted Scoliid Wasp
The Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp (Pygodasis quadrimaculata) is one of the more interesting types of wasps in Mississippi.
These wasps are easy to identify with their bright yellow and black coloring and distinct four spots. They prefer to feed on the nectar of wildflowers but also prey on flies and other smaller insects.
These wasps can be found in open areas such as meadows and fields, where they hunt for food and build their nests.
It is important to note that these wasps can become aggressive when disturbed and should not be approached or handled. Taking the necessary precautions, however, will help keep you and the wasp safe.
29. Leucospid Wasp
The Leucospid Wasp, or Leucospis spp., is one of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi.
These small, black wasps are typically between 7-9 millimeters long and can be identified by their white markings on the abdomen.
They are solitary hunters and prey on other insects, such as caterpillars, aphids, and flies. They also help control pest populations in gardens and other outdoor areas.
Coupled with that, these wasps build nests by chewing and shaping wood fibers into a paper-like material. These nests are usually found in dead trees and logs and in crevices of man-made structures.
Leucospid Wasps will often coat their nests with a resin-like secretion to protect their homes from predators.
Although they can sting if provoked, these wasps are generally harmless to humans and can be beneficial to have around the yard or garden.
30. Metric Paper Wasp
The Metric Paper Wasp (Polistes metricus) is also one of the most common types of wasps in Mississippi.
This species is native to North America and has a wide range of habitats, from grasslands to forests. The Metric Paper Wasp is usually found nesting near human structures or in trees and shrubs.
They build their nests in protected areas such as under eaves, porches, and window frames. These wasps have black and yellow stripes on their bodies, and their wings are brown and gray in color.
The Metric Paper Wasp, one of the types of wasps in Mississippi, feeds primarily on nectar and insects. They can be seen hovering around flowers, looking for food.
These wasps also scavenge for dead insects and other small animals to bring back to their nest.
This species is known to be a beneficial insect because they help control pest populations in gardens and fields.
The Metric Paper Wasp can sting if provoked, but they are not aggressive. They will usually fly away if disturbed and rarely sting unless they feel threatened.
If a nest is close to a home, it is best to leave it alone, as these wasps benefit the environment. If the nest needs to be removed, it should be done carefully to avoid being stung by the wasps.
31. Mutillid Wasp
The Mutillid Wasp, also known as Pseudomethocha oculata, is a species of wasp native to Mississippi. This type of wasp has distinctive features, including a bright orange and black striped abdomen, a thin waistline, and long thin antennae.
The wings of the wasp are clear with spots, and the legs are darkly colored.
The Mutillid Wasp is typically found near wooded areas and around flowering plants, where they feed on pollen and nectar.
They are types of wasps in Mississippi that are solitary creatures and do not form colonies or nests. Although they may appear intimidating due to their large size, they pose no real danger to humans.
The Mutillid Wasp is an important part of the ecosystem in Mississippi, helping to pollinate flowers and plants and aiding in natural pest control. We’ll end our list of the different types of wasps in Mississippi here!
With its warm climate and diverse range of habitats, Mississippi is home to various wasp species. You might be a nature enthusiast, an insect collector, or just curious about the types of wasps in Mississippi, the Magnolia State.
All in all, this blog post provided you with an overview of the types of wasps in Mississippi.
Please read the above to learn more about the different species of wasps that inhabit the region and how to recognize them.