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

Western Yellowjacket Worker - Vespula pensylvanica - female Large metricus nest - Polistes metricus red wasp - Polistes - female Polistes fuscatus Four toothed mason wasp? - Monobia quadridens Unknown potter wasp - Euodynerus foraminatus - female 3014530 Vespula - Vespula maculifrons - female Vespula alascensis. - Vespula
Classification
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
Numbers
~300 North American species in 35 genera
Identification
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), to CA spp. in(2)
Range
worldwide
Food
Nests are usually stocked with caterpillars
Life Cycle
Polistinae and Vespinae are all eusocial species; Eumeninae, Euparagiinae, and Masarinae are solitary; Stenogastrinae contains solitary and social species
Remarks
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.
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].
2.The social wasps of California (Vespinae, Polistinae, Polybiinae)
Bohart R.M., Bechtel R.C. 1957. Bull. U.C. Insect Survey 4(3): 73-101.