What is the difference between the German Wasp and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly?

What is the difference between the German Wasp (Vespula germanica) and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly (Milesia virginieusis)? 

The German Wasp is a wasp and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly is not a wasp – it is related to the Drone Fly. Both are insects.

The German Wasp is a vespid and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly is a syrphid.

German Wasp (left) and Yellowjacket Hoverfly (right)

The German Wasp has a black thorax with yellow spots, and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly has a yellow thorax with two black horizontal markings.

The German Wasp has smoky-coloured wings, and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly has clear-coloured (translucent) wings.

The German Wasp a yellow body with black arrow-shaped markings, and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly has a yellow body with black H-shaped markings.

The German Wasp has long, thick, black antennae, and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly has very short antennae.

The female German Wasp has a stinger on her tail, whereas the Yellowjacket Hoverfly does not have a stinger on hertail (so it is harmless).

The German Wasp and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly both have yellow legs.

German Wasp
Yellowjacket Hoverfly

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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