The hornet is a stinging insect that can be found throughout the world. It is not to be confused with the yellowjacket, which belongs to the same order of insects but has different shapes and colors. Hornets are mainly black or dark brown, with yellow markings on their abdomens. Their bodies are about long, making them among the most giant wasps in North America.
The queens can grow up to an inch (25 millimeters) long; workers average around .75 inches (19 mm), and males are slightly smaller than workers at just under .5 inches (12 mm). Hornets build nests out of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva form into papery gray-brown paper cocoons for brood cells; these are typically attached to trees or sheltered places. However, in high-elevation locations within temperate climates, hornets have been known to nest underground in spaces large enough for dozens of nests.