Body has yellow and black markings; the abdomen has narrow yellow bands. The thorax has two distinct parallel stripes. Nests are located in turfgrass surrounding houses and buildings, recreation areas, and roadsides. Colonies contain 500 to 4,000 workers.
Habits. This yellowjacket is a social parasite of other yellowjacket species. The parasite queen takes over the nest from the host queen and assumes complete control of the colony. This species will vigorously defend its nest, especially in fall when there are many workers in the colony.