Blackjacket Wasp - Vespula consobrina
Order Hymenoptera /
Family Vespidae -- hornets, paper wasps, potter wasps, yellowjackets
Live blackjackets and bald faced hornets photographed in the wild at Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Bees & Wasps Index | Parasitica | Aculeata | Symphyta
Blackjacket - Vespula consobrina
Note very thin, nearly complete white apical band on abdominal tergite 2; Bald-faced hornet has, at most,  small lateral spots.

Blackjacket - Vespula consobrina
Male Blackjacket. Note pitch black compound eyes as opposed to chocolate brown in the bald-faced hornet (bottom of page).

I have been stung multiple times by the Eastern Yellowjacket - Vespula maculifrons (while stupidly trying to destroy their nest), but never by the bald-faced hornet or the blackjacket.  I have been around thousands of bald-faced hornets and yellowjackets and blackjackets in the wild, and they pay no attention to me whatsoever. I cannot stress this enough: they don't even notice your existence unless you bother them.

Blackjacket - Vespula consobrina

Baldfaced Hornet - Dolichovespula maculata
 Baldfaced Hornet - Dolichovespula maculata has chocolate-brown compound eyes vs. blackjacket's black eyes

References

  1. Discover Life, "Dolichovespula adulterina (du Buysson, 1904)"
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Order Hymenoptera: Bees, Wasps, & Ants
Hymenoptera (Latin for membrane wing) is a vast assemblage of insects second only to Coleoptera (beetles) in the number of described species. Hymenoptera number some 115,000 species - of which 18,000 live in North America. Hymenopterans inhabit a wide variety of habitats, and show an incredible diversity in size, behavior, structure and color.
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