Face of a Southern Yellowjacket Queen (Vespula squamosa)

This morning I set out to look for jumping spiders as I often do, and decided to flip over a wooden platform were I know a Phidippus audax lives ( Click here to watch a video of this spider eating a harvestman ) and was surprised to find this female yellowjacket hanging out in the shade beneath the platform. She may have just come out of hibernation, so she didn't seem too keen on flying away, but kind of waddled around a bit slowly, giving me a chance to get a few photos.


The above image is a crop from an image taken with the 50mm reversed to a few extension tubes. Make sure to view it in the largest size to appreciate all the fine detail!


Quite a beautiful wasp, hopefully I can find a male someday.




For those of you interested - some new artwork of mine is posted here:




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Taken on December 19, 2009