Difference Between Wasp and Hornet

Wasp vs Hornet

It is important to know about the wasps, as well as the hornets, especially how to differentiate them. That is because hornets are one of the wasps and they bear some importance with them and all their significant characteristics are discussed in this article. To help identify a hornet from other wasps, a comparison based on their features is presented in this article.


Wasps are insects of the Order: hymenoptera and Suborder: Apocrita. There are more than 300 types of wasps and most of them are parasitic forms. All the wasps have slender thin body, narrow waist, and a shiny look. Yellow jackets, bald faced hornets, and paper wasps are some of the most common among wasps. However, there are other wasps in different colourations. Wasps have two pairs of wings. They have a venomous sting; which they use as a weapon to protect them from the attackers. Their females have an ovipositor, which is a tube-like structure developed especially for laying eggs. Wasps have been a common problem for many people, because they build their nests around human habitation, especially inside houses. The problem with their nests is that they could be life threatening if they are being disturbed. However, they make their nests in different size, but usually those are large and more round or pear shaped and paper-like in texture.


Hornets are a type of wasps, and the largest of all the vespids. Usually, they are about 3.5 centimetres in body length, but sometimes it could be as high as over 5.5 centimetres. The genus: Vespa is made up of the true hornets. The round section of the abdomen just behind the waist and the width of the head (behind eyes) are unique in wasps. Hornets could be terribly dangerous to many animals including humans, as there are some of the most venomous insects among them. In fact, the Asian giant hornet is the most venomous hornet in the world, and they can easily kill a man from their multiple stinging. Unlike many wasps, hornets do not attract towards the light sources in the night, and that makes them smarter from the other insects. Hornets usually build large to very large nests, in sheltered places or on strong branches.

What is the difference between Wasp and Hornet?

• Taxonomically, wasp is more diverse than hornets.

• Hornets are larger than wasps.

• Wasps feed on both insects and some sugary plant matter, but hornets are exclusively insectivorous.

• Hornets have more venom than wasps.

• Wasps build their small umbrella-shaped nests in protected places, but hornets make their nests extremely large and in sheltered positions.