Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Vespidae - Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps

Wasp/Caterpillar mystery European Hornet - Vespa crabro Paper Wasp - Polistes metricus Four-toothed mason wasp - Monobia quadridens Wasp_8463 - Polistes fuscatus   - Symmorphus canadensis - female Wasp - Polistes
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Vespoidea (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies)
Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Polybiinae recently merged with Polistinae, with some of the tribes rearranged
~300 North American species in 35 genera
Legs of normal length, not as long as in Pompilidae
Wings folded longitudinally at rest; first discoidal cell of FW greater than half the wing length
Inner margin of eye usually notched
Pronotum extending back to the tegulae and thus appearing triangular in lateral view and horseshoe-shaped from above

Keys to northeastern spp. in(1)
Nests are usually stocked with caterpillars
Life Cycle
Polistinae and Vespinae are all eusocial species. Eumeninae, Euparagiinae, and Masarinae are all solitary. Stenogastrinae contains solitary and social species.
Six subfamilies; members of the Vespinae and Polistinae are social, the rest are solitary. The social vespids can be distinguished from the nonsocial forms by the presence of a cutting or chewing surface near the apex of the mandible rather than along the inner margin.
Print References
Bohart (1957) [replace with standard cite format]
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the Northeastern Nearctic Region
Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K. B. Cheung. 2008. Biological Survey of Canada [Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification].