- Common Name: Wasp
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Superorder: Hymenopterida
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Total Species: 30,000+
18 Wasp Facts for Kids
- A wasp is an insect that belongs to the Apocrita suborder and is neither a bee or an ant.
- A wasp is also sometimes referred to as a yellow jacket or hornet.
- It’s estimated there is over a 100,000 known species of wasps.
- Wasps can be found everywhere in the world, expect Antarctica.
- Wasps are carnivorous and eat a wide variety of insects.
- Wasps can live anywhere between a few months to a year.
- Wasps, unlike bees, don’t have a barbed stinger. This allows a wasp to sting multiple times and a sting doesn’t result in the death of the wasp.
- There are two types of wasps, social wasps and solitary wasps.
- Social wasps live together in either a nest, burrow or cavity.
- Solitary wasps live alone in a self-constructed nest, burrow or cavity and are considered parasitoids.
- Most wasp species are considered solitary wasps.
- The largest social wasp is the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia).
- The largest solitary wasp is the Giant Scoliid Wasp (Megascolia procer).
- Social wasps are considered as pests when they build their nests near or in manmade structures. These nests make interaction with humans more likely and can result in multiple stings. People with allergies can have a severe reaction when stung by a wasp.
- The bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculate) is known to aggressively defend their nests. People who have gotten to close to a bald-faced hornet’s nest have been stung repeatedly.
- The cicada killer wasp (Sphecius speciosus) unusual size gives them a scary appearance, however they rarely sting humans and their sting is compared to a pinprick.
- Paper wasps are a diverse group of wasps that are members of the Vespidae family. It’s estimated there around 5,000 species of paper wasps.
- The tarantula hawk is one of the largest spider wasps that preys on tarantulas. They capture their prey, place them in a borrow, lay their egg on the prey, and the larva eats it (while still alive).
A close-up photo of a tarantula hawk.
A photo of a paper wasp on its nest.
A photo of a cicada killer wasp.
Resources for more Facts About Wasps
- Wasps – National Geographic – Learn more about wasps on the National Geographic website.
- Wasps – Britannica – Find more facts and information about wasps on the Britannica website.
- Wasps – Wikipedia – Discover things you never knew about wasps on the Wikipedia website.