Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Family Vespidae - Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps

Northern Paper Wasp - Polistes fuscatus Atropilosa xanthic worker - Vespula atropilosa - female Paper wasp - Mischocyttarus mexicanus - female Large Wasp - Polistes carolina Vespula...vidua? - Vespula maculifrons - male another syrphid? - Vespula germanica - female Wasp id please - Zeta argillaceum Vespidae Euodynerus hildalgo - Euodynerus hidalgo
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
The Subfamily Polybiinae has recently been merged with the Subfamily Polistinae, with some of the tribes rearranged
300 North American species in 35 genera.
Legs of normal length, not as long as those of the Pompilidae.
Wings folded longitudinally at rest; first discoidal cell of FW greater than half the wing length (longer than pompilids).
Inner margin of eye usually notched.
Pronotum extending back to the tegulae, the pronotum thus appearing triangular when viewed from the side and horseshoe-shaped when viewed from above.

(Good description of family characteristics in discussion here.)
Life Cycle
Nests are usually stocked with caterpillars.
Six subfamilies: Vespinae and Polistinae are social, the remainder subfamilies 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
Borror et al. An Introduction to the Study of Insects (1)
Works Cited
1.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
2.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].