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What Color Is a Wasp?

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Wasps (Hymenoptera) come in all colors. Many wasps, such as yellow jackets, display highly visible black and yellow stripes and can be distinguished from bees by their slender bodies with wasp waists. The 30,000 species of wasps include blue, brown, red and two-tone combinations such as the orange and blue of the tarantula hawk wasp, National Geographic reports.

Wasp Coloring

In nature, bright colors often serve as a warning to potential predators. The most colorful wasps usually belong to stinging species, members of the Vespidae family. Among stinging wasps, only the females have stingers. Paper wasps sting if you bother their nests. Their colors include red-brown, dark brown, yellow and combinations of those colors. Other stinging wasps colors include white, orange or red on a dark body in addition to the classic yellow on black. The majority of wasp species don't sting.