30 Different Types of Wasps in Oklahoma

Different Types of Wasps in Oklahoma
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Have you ever seen a wasp flying around your backyard in Oklahoma? Wasps can be intimidating, especially if they buzz around your head.

While it is true that some species of wasps can sting and deliver a painful bite, not all wasps pose a threat.

There are many different types of wasps in Oklahoma, and it is important to be able to identify them so you know which ones to avoid. 

In this blog post, we will explore the different types of wasps in Oklahoma that you might encounter and how to tell them apart.

Oklahoma is home to various wasp species, many of which are common and easily spotted throughout the state. 

While some species benefit the environment, others can be dangerous to humans.

This guide will take us through the most common types of wasps in Oklahoma and discuss their characteristics, habitat, and behavior.

1. Blue-Winged Wasp

The blue-winged wasp is a common species of wasp found throughout Oklahoma. These wasps are recognizable by their black and yellow markings and blue wings.

They are the starter of this list of the types of wasps in Oklahoma and are also known for their long, slender bodies. 

The blue-winged wasp is often found hovering around flowering plants in search of nectar. They may also be seen in the late summer when they congregate in large numbers.

These wasps are not aggressive and rarely sting, although they may if they feel threatened. 

The blue-winged wasp can be identified by its large head, narrow waist, and distinctive blue wings.

While they do not pose any danger to humans, they can be a nuisance as they tend to fly around windows and light fixtures in search of food.

2. Braconid Wasp

Braconid wasps, also known as aphid wasps, are parasitoid wasps found in Oklahoma. These small wasps are typically black and yellow, with slender bodies and pointed abdomens.

Their wings are usually marked with bright yellow spots, ranging in size from 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch long.

These wasps are parasitoids, meaning they lay their eggs inside a host organism, usually an aphid. The larvae then feed off the host until it is ready to pupate and emerge as an adult. 

Braconid wasps are beneficial for controlling aphid populations, helping to keep plant-eating insects in check.

However, these wasps are also capable of stinging humans, so caution should be exercised when they are encountered.

They are second on our list of the different types of wasps in Oklahoma.

3. Common Paper Wasp

The common paper wasp is also on this list of the types of wasps in Oklahoma. These wasps are typically black and yellow, with the queen slightly larger than the workers.

These wasps can be found nesting in sheltered areas such as eaves, window frames, and other protected areas. 

They are usually seen in the summer and are generally not aggressive unless disturbed.

Common paper wasps build small umbrella-like nests made of thin layers of wood fibers and saliva hanging from a single stem or twig.

Common paper wasps, one of the types of wasps in Oklahoma, feed on nectar, insects, carrion, and fruit. They may also visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar.

Wasps of this species benefit gardens, as they feed on harmful insects such as aphids and caterpillars, helping to keep these pests under control.

They also provide a food source for other insectivorous animals. 

It is important to note that these wasps should be handled with care due to their sting, which can be painful.

If you find a nest of these wasps, it is best to leave them alone and let them continue their work in your garden.

4. Leucospid Wasp

The Leucospid Wasp is a type of wasp commonly found in Oklahoma. These insects are typically found on flowers and around other plants, as they feed on the nectar of flowers and the sap of plants. 

They are characterized by their small size, yellow-and-black coloring, and slender shape.

This type of wasp is also known for its harmless nature and does not cause any issues for humans or other animals. This makes them a popular insect for Oklahoma residents.

5. Metric Paper Wasp

The Metric Paper Wasp is a species of paper wasp found in Oklahoma. These wasps are common throughout much of the state but can also be found in other parts of the United States.

They are easily identifiable by their black and yellow striped bodies and their three-inch wingspan. 

The Metric Paper Wasp feeds on nectar, pollen, and caterpillars and is an important pollinator in Oklahoma.

They can be found in nests of various sizes, usually built in sheltered areas such as eaves and porches.

While they are not considered to be particularly aggressive, they are types of wasps in Oklahoma that can sting if disturbed or threatened.

6. Noble Scoliid Wasp

The Noble Scoliid Wasp (Scolia noblitata) is a type of solitary wasp that can be found in the state of Oklahoma.

These wasps typically have a brown or reddish color and a length of around 15 to 20 millimeters.

They are known for their distinctive long antennae and three yellow-green stripes on their thorax. 

These types of wasps in Oklahoma feed on other insects, such as flies, moths, and beetles, as well as flower nectar.

They build nests in the soil, usually in areas with little vegetation, and they can sometimes be found nesting in abandoned burrows or under rocks.

The Noble Scoliid Wasp plays an important role in the Oklahoma ecosystem by helping control other insect pests’ populations.

7. Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp is one of the largest types of wasps in Oklahoma. It is a parasitic species known for its long ovipositor, reaching 2-3 inches long.

The larvae of this species live inside of wood-boring beetle larvae, where they feed on the host. 

This species is unique due to its size and life cycle; it is easily recognizable by its black coloration and yellow markings.

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp is generally seen from mid-summer to fall and can be found in wooded areas across Oklahoma.

8. Paper Wasp

The Paper Wasp is a type of wasp found in Oklahoma and throughout the United States.

This species has a black and yellow striped abdomen and three pale yellow-green stripes that run along the thorax.

The Paper Wasp builds intricate nests made of a few hexagonal combs suspended by a single stalk. 

These nests can be found on tree trunks, house eaves, and other elevated locations. They are types of wasps in Oklahoma that also tend to swarm in large numbers when disturbed.

Despite their intimidating appearance, Paper Wasps are not typically aggressive but will sting if provoked.

9. Potter Wasp

The Potter Wasp is a species of mason wasp found in Oklahoma. It is easily identifiable by its bright colors, typically yellow and black.

These wasp species are solitary, meaning they do not form colonies and build mud nests on twigs or other flat surfaces. 

The Potter Wasp uses the mud to build a single-cell chamber with a protective dome, then lays its eggs in the chamber and seals it up.

The larvae feed on a variety of small insects, and the adult wasps feed on flower nectar. They benefit gardeners as they help control populations of pest insects.

10. Red Paper Wasp

The Red Paper Wasp (Polistes spp.) is one of the most common types of wasps in Oklahoma.

They have reddish bodies and black wings and typically build paper-like nests in protected areas such as under eaves, trees, and other protected places. 

Red Paper Wasps feed mainly on nectar, pollen, and aphids and help to keep the populations of these pests in check.

They can become aggressive when disturbed and should not be approached without caution. 

11. Ringed Paper Wasp

The Ringed Paper Wasp is a species of wasp found commonly in Oklahoma. It is large and black with orange-yellow bands around its body and has yellow legs.

The wings are also black but are highlighted with orange lines. The females typically build their nests on rocks or in hollow tree trunks.

They prey on caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects and can be found foraging in gardens, fields, and other areas.

We are still on this list of the various types of wasps in Oklahoma.

12. Sand Wasp

Sand Wasps are common throughout Oklahoma and can be found in areas with sandy soil.

These wasps are solitary creatures and dig their nesting tunnels in the sand. They are about a quarter of an inch long and typically have a reddish-brown color with yellow and black markings. 

The females feed on nectar and pollen from flowers, while the males feed on insects such as flies and aphids.

They are beneficial to humans as they help control insect populations by preying on them. They are types of wasps in Oklahoma that also act as pollinators for some plants.

13. Scoliid Wasp

The Scoliid Wasp is one of the most common types of wasps in Oklahoma. The Scoliid Wasp can be identified by the black and yellow stripes covering its body.

The female wasp is larger than the male and has a stinger which she uses to inject venom into her prey. 

This type of wasp feeds on nectar, pollen, and larvae of other insects. They are most active during the day and can be found in gardens, fields, and forests.

These wasps can sting but usually only if disturbed or threatened.

14. Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

The Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp is a species of parasitic wasp found throughout Oklahoma.

This species prefers to feed on other insects, such as caterpillars, and can be identified by their short antennae and black coloring.

Their wings are transparent, with a yellow and white band around the edge. They also have a curved, yellow-colored ovipositor at the end of their abdomen.

These wasps help control pests’ populations, helping protect crops and gardens from damage.

If you desire to know more about the types of wasps in Oklahoma, read further!

15. Thread-Waisted Wasp

The Thread-waisted Wasp, Eremnophila aureonotata, is a species of wasp native to Oklahoma.

This type of wasp is easily recognized by its long and slender waist. The female wasps measure up to 10mm in length, while the male wasps measure up to 8mm.

Their bodies are covered in yellow and black stripes, with white spots on the abdomen. They have a large stinger that they use to defend themselves from predators.

Thread-waisted Wasps feed on the nectar and pollen of various flowers, as well as other small insects such as aphids and caterpillars.

They are solitary wasps, meaning they do not form colonies or hives. The female Thread-waisted Wasps build nests in tree cavities, under loose bark, and cracks in rocks or wood. 

They are on the list of the different types of wasps in Oklahoma that also hunt for prey and catch it with their large mandibles.

Once they catch their prey, they paralyze it and lay eggs on them, which later hatch into larvae. These larvae feed on their host until they fully develop and fly away as adult wasps.

16. Squarehead Wasp

Squarehead Wasps are one of the most common types of wasps in Oklahoma. They are commonly found in grassy areas, such as fields and lawns.

These wasps are approximately 0.5 to 1 inch long and have slender bodies with black and yellow stripes. 

The head of the squarehead wasp is usually a pale yellowish-orange color and has four dark spots on it.

They feed on nectar and small insects and use their long jaws to capture prey. Squarehead wasps can be seen flying around flowers during the day and become active at night.

These wasps build nests in soil or trees, typically around 5 feet from the ground. Nests are made from wood fibers and contain multiple cells for larvae.

Depending on the species, these cells can be lined with paper or mud. Squarehead wasps are solitary insects, meaning they do not live in large colonies like other types of wasps in Oklahoma.

They can benefit the environment as they help control insect populations.

17. Spider Wasp

Spider Wasps, also known as Auplopus mellipes, are a species of wasp commonly found in Oklahoma.

These small wasps are dark brown with a black-and-white pattern on the wings and abdomen.

They are likewise types of wasps in Oklahoma that are solitary and do not build nests like some other wasps. 

Instead, they hunt spiders by laying eggs, which the larvae feed on once they hatch.

Spider Wasps are usually seen in gardens or wooded areas and are beneficial to have around as they help to control spider populations.

These wasps can be identified by their long antennae and slender bodies. When disturbed, they can fly away quickly and will make a loud buzzing noise as they fly.

They can reach up to 1 inch in length and can be identified by their large eyes and long antennae. They are not considered dangerous to humans and rarely sting unless provoked.

Spider Wasps can be found throughout Oklahoma from April to November and help keep spider populations in check.

18. Weevil Wasp

Weevil Wasps are a large family of insects found throughout Oklahoma. Their long, slender bodies and black and yellow markings can easily identify these solitary wasps.

They prefer to feed on small, weevil-type beetles, and they rarely sting humans or animals. 

As parasitoids, Weevil Wasps lay their eggs on or in their host insect, and the larvae feed on them.

Weevil Wasps are important predators in the garden, helping to keep pest populations under control. They are not excluded from the list of the several types of wasps in Oklahoma.

19. Common Thread-Waisted Wasp

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp, or Ammophila procera, is a species of wasp found in Oklahoma.

This species is typically black with yellow markings on its abdomen. It can measure up to 2.5 cm in length and has an extremely slender waist. 

These types of wasps in Oklahoma are predatory, hunting and consuming other insects.

They have been observed hovering around flowers in search of nectar, though their main source of food is still thought to be other arthropods.

These wasps build their nests in the ground, usually in grassy or sandy areas, and are solitary creatures.

When defending their nest, the Common Thread-waisted Wasps will display aggressive behavior. They can sting repeatedly when provoked, which is said to be painful.

Luckily, these wasps are not considered a significant threat to humans. However, they should be avoided when encountered.

As with all types of wasps in Oklahoma, they are important pollinators and help to keep pest populations under control.

20. Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo wasps, which belong to the family Chrysididae, are some of the most interesting types of wasps in Oklahoma. These wasps are metallic green or blue and are relatively small in size.

Cuckoo wasps have distinctively long and slender bodies, and they are named after their habit of laying eggs in the nests of other insects, such as bees or ants. 

In Oklahoma, these wasps can be found in wooded areas where they feed on nectar and small insects.

These wasps play an important role in maintaining the region’s ecological balance. They help control pest populations by preying on other insects and are also beneficial pollinators. 

It is important to be aware of cuckoo wasps when working in areas where they may be present, as they can inflict a painful sting.

Although the sting is generally harmless, it can be quite painful and may cause swelling at the site of the sting.

21. Double-Banded Scoliid Wasp

The Double-banded Scoliid Wasp (Scolia bicincta) is a type of wasp found in Oklahoma. This insect is medium-sized, black, or blue, with two orange stripes across the abdomen.

These wasps are known for their impressive flying abilities, reaching up to 100 miles per hour! 

This wasp species is mostly solitary, meaning they do not form large colonies like other types of wasps in Oklahoma.

They are also predatory, feeding on other insects like flies, grasshoppers, and caterpillars.

The female Double-banded Scoliid Wasp will build her nest in the ground, using mud and plant material to construct a chamber for the eggs and larvae.

These specific types of wasps in Oklahoma can benefit humans as they prey on other harmful insects.

They are not typically aggressive and will only sting if they feel threatened or if their nest is disturbed.

If you spot one of these wasps in your yard, try to leave it alone and observe from a distance. With patience and caution, it’s possible to coexist peacefully with these fascinating insects.

22. European Paper Wasp

European Paper Wasps are also one of the most common types of wasps in Oklahoma. They have an orange and black banded abdomen with a yellow head.

They are social creatures that build large nests from bits of paper that hang from trees, shrubs, and eaves of houses.

They feed on other insects, including caterpillars and aphids, which can benefit gardens. 

European Paper Wasps are more aggressive than other wasp species and will sting if threatened.

European Paper Wasps can be found throughout Oklahoma, especially in areas with many trees and shrubs. Their nests can grow quite large, and they may build multiple nests in the same area. 

It is important to take precautions when dealing with these wasps, as their stings can be painful and even dangerous in some cases.

If you find a nest on your property, it is best to contact a pest control expert to remove it safely.

23. Five-Banded Thynnid Wasp

The five-banded thynnid wasp is one of Oklahoma’s most common wasps species.

These large, black and yellow wasps can be found nesting in trees or shrubs, or in some cases, even on the sides of buildings.

They usually measure about 1.5 to 2.5 inches long and have black bodies with bright yellow stripes across their abdomen. 

Also, they are characterized by their five bands, two yellow and three black, located on their wings.

These wasps feed on various insects, including caterpillars and soft-bodied insects such as aphids, moths, flies, and grasshoppers.

They also scavenge for food in trash cans or on carrion and can often be seen around picnic areas. 

While they are not aggressive, these types of wasps in Oklahoma can become defensive if they feel threatened.

If disturbed, they may sting humans and animals to defend themselves, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.

24. Four-Toothed Mason Wasp

The four-toothed Mason wasp is one of the many types of wasps in Oklahoma. It is a solitary wasp, meaning it does not live in colonies like social wasps such as hornets and yellow jackets do.

The four-toothed Mason wasp is typically brownish-black with some yellow markings on its body. 

It measures around 1/2 inch long and has four teeth on its head. This wasp builds its nest inside masonry or pre-existing cavities, usually in the crevices of buildings or homes.

It builds nests out of mud or chewed wood and uses these as nurseries for its larvae. These larvae feed on other insects, making them an effective form of pest control. 

These wasps can be beneficial as they help control populations of other insects, such as ants and flies.

However, when disturbed or provoked, they can sting multiple times, so it is important to exercise caution when dealing with them.

If you have noticed many four-toothed Mason wasps in your area, contact a professional pest control service for assistance in removing them from your property.

25. Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Giant Ichneumon Wasps are types of wasps in Oklahoma. This species of wasp can reach sizes of up to 2 inches in length and have a distinctively long, slender body with a tail-like structure.

Giant Ichneumon Wasps are parasitoids, which means they lay their eggs in the bodies of other insects, usually wood-boring beetles. 

They can be identified by their long ovipositor, which inserts their eggs into the host’s body. Giant Ichneumon Wasps are often seen hovering around trees and shrubs in search of their host.

In Oklahoma, these wasps are most common during the summer months and can be found in wooded areas, parks, and gardens.

Though Giant Ichneumon Wasps are relatively harmless to humans, they should be treated cautiously.

The sting of this type of wasp can be painful and cause redness and swelling at the site of the sting.

If you encounter a Giant Ichneumon Wasp in Oklahoma, it is best to leave the area and avoid contact with the insect.

26. Great Black Wasp

The Great Black Wasp is a species of solitary wasp found in Oklahoma. These wasps are large, with black and yellow coloring, and are easily identifiable. They are most active during the day and are often seen foraging for food.

The Great Black Wasp is a powerful hunter, preying on crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects.

When disturbed, the Great Black Wasp will become very defensive and can even sting multiple times if provoked.

It is important to note that these wasps are not considered aggressive or dangerous to humans and should not be feared or avoided.

In fact, they play an important role in the local ecosystem by controlling pest populations.

27. Great Golden Digger Wasp

The great golden digger wasp, also known as Sphex ichneumoneus, is a species found in Oklahoma and throughout much of the United States.

It is a solitary wasp that lives alone and is not typically aggressive. It can grow up to 1.5 inches in length and has bright yellow and black markings. 

It is usually active during the day and often hovers around gardens and grassy areas in search of food.

This wasp preys primarily on grasshoppers, crickets, and other small insects. Equally important, they are one of the types of wasps in Oklahoma.

They paralyze their prey with their sting before dragging them back to their underground burrows to serve as food for their larvae. The adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen from flowers.

While they are generally harmless to humans, they should be avoided if possible due to their powerful sting.

28. Horntail Wasp

Horntail wasps, also known as woodwasps, are a type of wasp commonly found in Oklahoma.

These types of wasps in Oklahoma are large and dark in color, with yellow markings. They have long abdomens with a stout spike on the tip, earning them the name “horntail.” 

The horntail wasp is a solitary species and will often remain in its burrow throughout the winter.

This species is not aggressive and poses little threat to humans. However, their long spike can be dangerous if handled carelessly.

The female horntail wasp uses its long ovipositor (egg-laying organ) to drill into decaying wood and deposit its eggs.

The larvae of this species feed on the wood inside the burrow, eventually reaching adulthood. 

Horntail wasps are an important part of the Oklahoma ecosystem, providing food for other insect species and helping to break down decaying wood.

If you find one of these wasps near your home, it is best to leave it alone and appreciate it from a distance.

29. Hyperparasitic Wasp

Hyperparasitic wasps are found in Oklahoma and other parts of the United States.

This species of wasp is relatively small, only measuring up to 10mm in length, and they have black or brown bodies with yellow stripes.

They are parasitic wasps that feed on other insects, such as aphids, beetle larvae, and caterpillars. 

They are also types of wasps in Oklahoma that are known to prey on other smaller wasps and spiders.

These wasps make their nests in soil, tree bark, and plant stems. They lay their eggs inside their hosts, and the larvae then feed on the host until they pupate and emerge as adult wasps. 

Hyperparasitic wasps control pest populations in gardens, fields, and orchards. They can also provide valuable pollination services for certain crops and plants.

30. Ichneumon Wasp

The Ichneumon Wasp – D. bethunei (Diradops bethunei) is one of the most common types of wasp in Oklahoma. It can be found in many states, from woodlands to gardens and fields.

This species of wasp has a unique look, with an elongated body covered in white and black stripes. 

The wings of these insects, one of the types of wasps in Oklahoma, are transparent with a yellow hue.

They have long antennae, a slender abdomen, and a distinct ovipositor at the end of their abdomen.

These wasps use their ovipositor to inject eggs into host insects like caterpillars, which the larvae feed on.

The D. bethunei wasp does not sting humans or animals. However, it may release a defensive odor when threatened.

Conclusion

Oklahoma is home to various insect species, including various wasps. While some of these wasps benefit our ecosystem, others can be a nuisance to humans.

If you’re curious about Oklahoma’s different types of wasps, you’ve come to the right place. 

We discussed the different types of wasps in Oklahoma, their behavior, and how to handle them if they become a problem.

We are sure you are very enlightened by now regarding these insects. 

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