Dolichovespula maculata is a eusocial wasp of the cosmopolitan family Vespidae. Its colloquial names include the bald-faced hornet, bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, blackjacket, and bull wasp. This species is a yellowjacket wasp, not a true hornet (genus Vespa). Colonies contain 400 to 700 workers, the largest recorded colony size in its genus, Dolichovespula. It builds a characteristic hanging paper nest. Workers aggressively defend their nest by repeatedly stinging invaders. However, the bald-faced hornet is less aggressive compared to the normal Yellowjacket wasp.
Dolichovespula maculata is distributed throughout the United States and Southern Canada, but is most common in the southeastern United States. Males in this species are haploid and females are diploid. Worker females can therefore lay eggs which develop into males. Matricide might occur after sufficient workers have been raised and queen-destined eggs have been laid, in order to give workers a reproductive advantage.