Body is brownish black with narrow to broad yellow bands on the abdomen.
Nests usually are built in trees, attics, and house walls. A brown “envelope” covering the nest distinguishes this species from large yellowjackets. A mature nest has about 1,000 workers. Nests often have a foul odor, and when they are built in attics, they also
can extend into living spaces.
Habits. Prey includes grasshoppers, cicadas, flies, yellowjackets, and honey bees. Workers fly and hunt for prey at night, and they are attracted to outdoor lights and lighted windows.
These are very large hornets, and their behavior of hunting at night and moving to lights can be threatening.