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Difference Between Wasps and Hornets

Wasps Vs Hornets

Any person who had some experience of an insect bite questions what sort of specie stung him or her. Often, the blame is placed on the more popular bees. But the truth is other insects like wasps and hornets do sting humans and probably give you more pain than what bees normally do.

At a glance, experts would say that bees are different because they sting their victims only once compared to the stinging habits of wasps and hornets that sting many times in a row. The trick is all hornets are wasps; at least no one will contest to this claim. However, not all wasps are considered hornets.

Wasps are not ants and obviously they’re not the same as bees. Their long range of related family members make it confusing to identify if a certain insect really is a wasp or not. Because of this diversity, wasps have different physical attributes depending on the specific family or class the wasp belongs to.

Nevertheless, both wasps and hornets fall under the same family tree ‘“ the Vespidae family. Although hornets are said to be a subclass for wasps, the two species have some significant physical differences. Wasps have two paired wings and are regarded as non-fuzzy insects. The type of wasp that stings are the female wasps and as mentioned they are able to repeatedly sting their victims.

On the contrary, the hornets seem to be a little fatter at the mid portion of their body as compared to wasps. Some of the confusion sets in when people identify certain Vespidae insects as hornets and not wasps. A common example is the yellow jackets. Others claim that these insects are hornets when in fact they aren’t. At first glance though, they almost look like the standard bee because of their yellow and black stripe color but in reality they are actually a separate class of Vespidae insects. In general, these yellow jackets are commonly known as the predatory kind of wasp most especially by those people who reside in the Eastern hemisphere.

All in all, although both the wasp and hornet belong to the same Vespidae family they still differ in the following aspects:


Wasp is a more general term pertaining to the said insect as it comprises of sub insect groups such as the hornets and yellow jackets.

All hornets are wasps while not all wasps are hornets.

Hornets have fatter mid bodies compared to wasps.

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