33 Black and Yellow Bugs (Pictures and Identification)

There are numerous species of black and yellow bugs around the world. Bees are some of the most common and popular black and yellow species.

Apart from bees and wasps, many types of flies and beetles are also black and yellow.

Some of them may be found in gardens as they may feed on decaying plant matter. They may also be feeding on the legumes and fruits in the garden.

Other black and yellow bugs may even be predatory, eating other insects.

Black and yellow bugs live around the world. Here are some of the species with this color combination found around the world.

1. Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees are some of the most important black and yellow bugs in terms of pollination.

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)

These types of bees are known for their active habits in terms of building nests with wood or in wood. Females are responsible for nest creation and its interior separating walls.

Carpenter Bees are black and yellow and live around the world. Most commonly, they can be confused with other types of yellow and black bees.

One way to correctly identify Carpenter Bees is to analyze their abdomens. The abdomen of these bees is smooth, without hairs.

These bees are also solitary, except the females which may sometimes live together, especially when building or repairing nests.

Where to find them – North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Oceania

2. Honey Bees

Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

A few honey bee species are recognized around the world. These types of bees use wax to create small colonies where they stored their produced honey.

A prized target for animals, honey bee species recognized around the world are diminishing in numbers.

Some of the most common honey bees include The Eastern Honey Bee and The Western Honey Bee.

These types of bees are also found in Africa. Hybrids such as The Africanized Honey Bees are descendants of The European Honey Bee.

Africanized Honey Bees don’t produce as much honey but they are generally more aggressive and more resistant to certain diseases.

These types of honey-making bees are also black and yellow and show high aggression towards humans in their territory. They can even kill people when they sting multiple times.

This has even led to these bees being known as Killing Bees.

Where to find them – North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Oceania

3. Bumble Bees

Bumble Bee

Unlike honey bees, Bumble bees have fewer yellow stripes. Some bumble bees have no yellow stripes at all.

A mostly black appearance is specific to these types of bees with 1-2 yellow bands and a furry body. A black furry body is also highly specific among species of bumble bees.

Highly variable in appearance, these types of bees are mostly black and partly yellow. Some rare types of bumble bees such as Bombus anachoreta are mostly yellow with just a black band along the thorax.

Bumble bees are important crop and plant pollinators. These bees may not overwinter and their honey production and storage are minimum to non-existent.

On the other hand, they can be useful as crop pollinators where bees can’t. Bumble bees can be buzz pollinators on crops and greenhouses.

This type of pollination style uses movements or vibrations to remove plant pollen.

Where to find them – North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania (introduced), South America (one native species), Africa (only North of The Sahara Desert)

4. Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jacket

Growing to a size between 0.4 and 0.7 inches (queens), Yellow jackets are known predators.

Yellow jackets are types of wasps with alternating black and yellow bands. The yellow bands can be continuous or interrupted.

Most yellow bands are horizontal but Yellow jacket such as The Southern Yellowjacket also feature vertical yellow stripes on the thorax.

Unlike bees which they highly resemble, these wasps don’t have tan short hairs to collect pollen on their bodies.

Yellow jackets have stingers and potent venom, on the other hand.

While they may play a role in local pollination, Yellow jackets can sting and their effects are considerable, especially on humans with allergies.

Where to find them – North America, Europe, Oceania (introduced), Southern Africa

5. Paper Wasps

European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)

Paper wasps are mostly black and yellow or black, brown, and yellow.

These types of wasps build complex chambered nests out of wood and they play an important role in the ecosystem.

Less aggressive than Yellow jackets, Paper wasps may still sting when disturbed.

Polistes paper wasps are the most common in North America. Almost 30 species of Polistes exist and these wasps are dominated by black and yellow coloring.

Living in nests under a clear hierarchy, Polistes can be beneficial to the environment.

For example, Polistes erythrocephalus (a black-dominated wasp) controls tobacco worm leaf outbreaks in South America.

Where to find them – The Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia

6. Mud Dauber

Black-and-yellow Mud Dauber (Sceliphron caementarium)

Mud Daubers are wasps named after their capacity to make their nests from mud or clay.

These types of wasps build nests as protective structures for their young.

Each young mud dauber egg is placed on a captured and paralyzed bug or insects.

Mud Daubers are often black and yellow but can also be all-black.

Some of the common yellow and black mud daubers include The Black and Yellow Mud Dauber (Sceliphron caementarium).

The Sceliphron spirifex mud dauber is mostly black with a yellow thread-like waist and is found across Europe and Africa.

Where to find them – The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania

7. Cicada Killer

Eastern Cicada-killer Wasp (Sphecius speciosus)

Black, yellow, and red-brown are among the main colors of the Cicada killer wasp.

This type of wasp is the largest wasp in the Eastern side of North America, with the potential of reaching a size of up to 2 inches.

Less aggressive towards humans compared to other wasps, Cicada killers may still sting if threatened.

This is a species that nests in the ground and can invade lawns and gardens.

The name of the species comes from their cicada-based predatory habit. These wasps carry cicadas back to their nests.

Cicadas aren’t properly killed but rather paralyzed to be used as food later by these wasps.

Where to find them – Midwest and Eastern United States, Central America, The Caribbean

8. Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

A pest of cantaloupe and cucumber, Spotted Cucumber Beetles (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) are a real problem in Florida.

These pest bugs have yellow and black coloring, with some type of variation in the black patterns.

From black spots to black bands, this species comes in a contrasting appearance and it is widely distributed across the United States.

Some of its major areas with large populations include Florida and the Southern states as these beetles are migratory, leaving the Northern states for the wintertime.

One of the ways Spotted Cucumber Beetles manage to multiply rapidly without any real type of predators is by growing larvae directly in the ground.

Where to find them – Canada, the United States, Mexico

9. Locust Borer

Locust Borer

Locust Borers (Megacyllene robiniae) are a species of black and yellow beetles. These types of bugs have a black base color with a pattern of yellow stripes.

These stripes cover their wings and thoraxes in different ways.

Yellow stripes on the wings have a wavy pattern while those on the thorax and the head have a straight pattern.

Yellow and black bands also decorate the very long antennae of Locust Borers.

A species found along black locust trees and on goldenrod, this type of black and yellow bug is only present in North America.

Its presence elsewhere is sporadic as the species fails to establish populations outside of its native range.

Where to find it – Pennsylvania to Georgia

10. Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetle

Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetle

Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetles (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) get their name from the number of spots across the elytra.

14 spots decorate the wings and the cephalothorax of the species. The color of the spots and of the beetle itself are different, according to its variants.

Dark and black Fourteeen-spotted Lady Beetle variants exist. Its bright variant is yellow, with 14 black spots.

Some other dark morphs come with a black main color and red or orange spots.

Its dark morph is black, with 14 yellow spots.

In their larval stage, Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetles are brown, black, and yellow.

Where to find it – Europe, North Africa

11. Ornate Checkered Beetle

Ornate Checkered Beetle

Much of the appearance of the Ornate Checker Beetle (Trichodes ornatus) is similar to its host flowers.

This is a species that’s mainly black. Some bugs may also be blue-black with a bright-colored pattern on the elytra.

Yellow wavy patterns are specific to this black bug. Red and orange patterns are also visible in the species.

These types of bugs are commonly found on buckwheat and common yarrow.

They have a short lifespan and they help plant pollination. Ornate Checkered Beetles also lay eggs on their host flowers.

Where to find them – North America

12. Striped Cucumber Beetle

Striped Cucumber Beetle

Black, yellow, and pale yellow are the colors of The Striped Cucumber Beetle (Acalymma vittatum).

Mostly pale yellow, Striped Cucumber Beetles show black stripes along the wings. A golden yellow and black cephalothorax is also specific to these bugs.

This species also comes in a dark morph which is mostly black with yellow stripes.

A major pest of Eastern North America, Striped Cucumber Beetles impacts cucumbers and pumpkins by eating their leaves and by spreading disease-causing bacteria.

This species can survive winters in the ground or among ground-level leaves and vegetation.

Where to find them – East of The Rocky Mountains

13. Pigweed Flea Beetle

Pigweed Flea Beetle

Feeding on amaranth, Pigweed Flea Beetles (Disonycha glabrata) are yellow and black, but also brown.

Its elytra has a black main color with golden-yellow stripes. 4 yellow stripes are specific to The Pigweed Flea Beetle.

The 4 stripes of the species are grouped in pairs of 2 which are connected at the tip of the wings.

Other distinctive coloring traits include having small black dots on the cephalothorax.

Where to find them – North America

14. Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetle

Some of the most important rankings of common bugs of the world include the numerous Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), a species known as a major potato pest.

The species started its spread on potato plants and eventually became the most important pest of potatoes.

It starts life as a yellow egg. It then turns red in its juvenile stages to eventually become yellow and black as an adult.

Its black strips offer it a contrasting appearance, together with its brown and black cephalothorax.

Where to find them – North America, Europe, Asia

15. Three-lined Potato Beetle

Three-lined Potato Beetle

Similar to Colorado Beetles, Three-lined Potato Beetles (Lema daturaphila) are known as potato pests.

On a small scale, these bugs are picked by hand while chemical management techniques are used against the species as an adult.

Yellow or pale yellow colors dominate its elytra. There are varying nuances to its wings which may sometimes be golden.

A black stripe adds contrast to its appearance, together with a brown and black prothorax.

This species appears later in the season, starting in August.

Where to find them – North America, Central America

16. Zebra Longhorn Beetle

Zebra Longhorn Beetle

An elongated shape species, Zebra Longhorn Beetles (Typocerus zebra) are named after their contrasting yellow and black appearance.

This is a species with a black base color across all of its morphs.

Its dorsal side is decorated with yellow stripes. Some morphs of the species show dots rather than full bands or stripes.

A species found around decaying wood, the beetle is also spotted on different types of flowers.

Where to find them – North America

17. Squash Lady Beetle

Squash Lady Beetle

7 black spots decorate Squash Lady Beetles (Epilachna borealis). This is a species with variable coloring.

Its main color is black with some red or red-brown variants. All of its morphs are contrasted by black dots.

Squash and pumpkins are among the most impacted when it comes to eating habits.

This species is a skeletonized-feeding bug. It means it eats the soft part of the leaves, essentially halting plant growth and development.

Where to find it – North America

18. Eastern Elderberry Borer

Eastern Elderberry Borer

Elder is the main host and pest of an elder in Eastern North America.

While also a color variable, The Eastern Elderberry Borer (Desmocerus palliatus) is a species with predominantly black and yellow colors.

This is a species with yellow patches at the base of its wings while the rest of the wings and its body are black.

Brown and black morphs are also common.

Some of the most important damages to elderberry are done when the bug lays eggs. It bores into the plant stem to lay eggs.

Where to find it – Eastern North America

19. Harlequin Flower Beetle

Harlequin Flower Beetle

Found on trees and flowers, Harlequin Flower Beetles (Gymnetis thula) are a type of colorful scarab beetle.

Yellow and black color morphs are common, but not as common as their yellow and brown variant.

This species may also come in cream and black or cream and brown variants.

Feeding on flowers and fruit, this type of beetle grows to a maximum size of 0.8 inches with a rounded shape and a dual-colored appearance.

Its range is limited to parts of The United States and Mexico but it can be completely absent from its area for some years.

Where to find it – Eastern United States, Southeastern United States, Gulf of Mexico

20. Four-lined Plant Bug

Four-lined Plant Bug

An elongated species with a shield-shaped body, Four-lined Plant Bugs (Poecilocapsus lineatus) are named after their contrasting yellow stripes on the wings.

Its black wings show dark yellow stripes. Black and yellow is also present on its prothorax while the tip of its head is red.

Some rare morphs of the species come with a black appearance that shows green stripes.

This is a plant bug that feeds on and damages plants in the mint family.

Adults and larvae feed on host mint plant leaves while their eggs are laid directly in the stems of the plant.

Where to find it – United States, Canada

21. Two-spotted Grass Bug

Two-spotted Grass Bug

Feeding on various types of grass, Two-spotted Grass Bugs (Stenotus binotatus) are among the rare species where male and female bugs have different colors.

While sharing the same color pattern, Two-spotted Grass Bugs have a different color between the sexes.

Males are black and yellow while females are mostly green, with decorative black patches.

A wave-shaped pattern of yellow marks is distinguished on the elongated wings of the male.

The legs and antennae of male Two-spotted Grass Bugs are also showing black and yellow color combinations.

Where to find them – North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania

22. Harlequin Bug

Harlequin Bug

Black and yellow colors dominate the appearance of Harlequin Bugs (Murgantia histrionica).

An important pest, these bugs also show yellow-orange nuances in their dominating variant.

Starting life as a black and yellow-orange nymph, this species slowly becomes black, yellow-orange, and white to eventually loses its white marks and only be a yellow-orange and black bug species.

Harlequin Bugs are important pests on different crops. From cauliflower to Brussels sprouts, they are known to come with extensive crop damage if left unmanaged.

Its damages are even more important as the bug emerges from early spring.

Where to find them – United States, Mexico

23. Saddled Leafhopper

Saddled Leafhopper

Feeding on soft plants and tree leaves, Saddled Leafhoppers (Colladonus clitellarius) are some of the smallest yellow and black bugs in North America.

This is a species with yellow and black colors across the wings and the head.

Mostly black wings are contrasted by a central yellow dot while the head also shows yellow and black color combinations.

These types of plant bugs only grow to a maximum size of 0.2 inches and also come in brown and yellow color combinations.

Both the black and yellow and the brown and yellow morphs of the bug have all-yellow ventral coloring.

Where to find them – East of The Rocky Mountains

24. Dogwood Spittlebug

Dogwood Spittlebug

Dogwood Spittlebugs (Clastoptera proteus) are mostly black and yellow. These bugs may have a black head or a brown head.

Round and small, Dogwood Spittlebugs grow to a maximum size of 0.3 inches.

They jump around plants and leaves, often found on dogwood which the young suck sap from.

Adults may also feed on dogwood by they can also eat the leaves of various trees.

The young of the species are seen from May onwards but the eggs of the bugs aren’t easily located as they are placed under tree bark.

Where to find them – Main to North Carolina

25. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Nymphs

Large and numerous, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha halys) make their way through the crops of Eastern North America requiring considerable management techniques.

These types of bugs are among the species that can invade all types of crops and even tree plantations.

As adults, they have a shield shape and a brown color.

As nymphs, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are black and yellow.

The nymphs of the species have a round shape with a yellow dorsal pattern that shows additional mid-dorsal black marks.

Where to find them – East and West of The Rocky Mountains

26. Hoverflies


Hoverflies come in different shapes and sizes. Many types of hoverflies have black and yellow colors.

Species such as Criorhina floccose and Criorhina ranunculi are types of hoverflies with black and yellow colors.

These insects have hairy bodies and feed on plant pollen. Their young, as most other hoverfly juveniles, may even feed on decaying plant matter.

Hoverflies are often found around woodlands, particularly oak and birch woodlands.

Adults can even mimic other black and yellow insects such as bumble bees to visit the same flowering hosts.

Where to find them – Europe, North America, Asia

27. Golden-backed Snipe Fly

Golden-backed Snipe Fly

Golden-backed Snipe Flies (Chrysopilus thoracicus) are a type of fly in The United States little is known about despite their high numbers.

Living secretive lives in woodlands, these yellow and black insects are native to North America.

A long black body is covered in yellow marks while its wings are transparent with black veins.

This type of fly feeds on other insects and it can be spotted in woodlands at the beginning of the summer.

Where to find them – Eastern US woodlands

28. Striped Deer Fly

Striped Deer Fly

Striped Deer Flies (Chrysops vittatus) are named after their striped dorsum. Black and yellow stripes are visible in different nuances of the species.

Some Striped Deer Flies are mostly yellow with black stripes being a smaller part of their coloring while others are mostly black with smaller yellow stripes.

These types of flies can inflict a painful bite. These large insects need blood to reproduce and they can bite humans or animals.

Other black and yellow bugs such as wasps feed on Striped Deer Flies.

Where to find them – North America

29. Black-and-gold Flat Millipede

Black-and-gold Flat Millipede

This species of bug (Apheloria virginiensis) with many legs has a black dorsum, yellow-orange bands, and yellow legs.

It lives in parks and woodlands with plenty of litter as it feeds on decaying leaves and mulch.

The millipede grows to 2 inches and can roll up to defend itself. Alternatively, it can release a potent chemical.

This species is also known to be poisonous. Handing the species isn’t recommended as it can cause skin irritation.

Where to find them – North American forests

30. Bumblebee Millipede

Bumblebee Millipede

A mostly black body is descriptive of The Bumblebee Millipede (Anadenobolus monilicornis). This species shows yellow bands across its body which inspires its name.

Young millipedes of the species are bright.

Moving about with its tens of red legs, this is a species slowly moving into North America through Florida.

Native to The Caribbean, the species like areas with decaying plant matter which it uses for food.

Where to find them – Central America, Florida

31. Yellow-spotted Millipede

Yellow-spotted Millipede

Black and yellow nuances contrast the appearance of The Yellow-spotted Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana).

This species has a mostly black body with 2 rows of yellow dots across the margins of the dorsum.

A species that eat decaying organic materials, this millipede can be found around North American redwood forests.

Its juveniles also eat decomposed plant material.

Where to find them – Alaska, Canada, The United States

32. Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Nymph

Grasshoppers come in different colors. Their juveniles (Romalea microptera) are also known to vary in appearance compared to the grown adults.

Female Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers can be orange, yellow, and black.

Juveniles, on the other hand, are black and yellow only.

Most of the growth stages of the young Eastern Lubber Grasshopper are marked by yellow and black colors before the species molts.

A black body with dorsal yellow stripes and bans is specific to these juveniles.

Where to find them – Texas to Florida

33. Garden Fruit Chafer

Pachnoda sinuate
Garden Fruit Chafer

Mostly black with a yellow H-shaped dorsal pattern, Garden Fruit Chafers (Pachnoda sinuate) are pest bugs.

These types of black and yellow bugs eat plants and fruit. They lay eggs in dung or mud and can also be found in areas with decaying plant matter.

Apart from a contrasting appearance and pest status, Garden Fruit Chafers are also known to lay eggs in mud shells.

Where to find them – South Africa, Central Africa