Family Vespidae - Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps
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
Explanation of Names
Vespidae Latreille 1802
~300 spp. in 35 genera in our area(1)
; ~5,000 spp. in ~270 genera total(2)
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
extending back to the tegulae
and thus appearing triangular in lateral view and horseshoe-shaped from above
Keys to northeastern spp. in(3)
, to CA spp. in(4)
Nests are usually stocked with caterpillars
Polistinae and Vespinae are all eusocial species; Eumeninae, Euparagiinae, and Masarinae are solitary; Stenogastrinae contains solitary and social species
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.
|2.||Order Hymenoptera. In: Zhang Z-Q (ed) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classif. and survey of taxonomic richness|
Aguiar AP, Deans AR, Engel MS, Forshage M, Huber JT, Jennings JT, Johnson NF, Lelej AS, Longino JT, Lohrmann V, Mikó I, Ohl M. 2013. Zootaxa 3703: 51–62.
|3.||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].
|4.||The social wasps of California (Vespinae, Polistinae, Polybiinae)|
Bohart R.M., Bechtel R.C. 1957. Bull. U.C. Insect Survey 4: 73-101.