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

Eastern Yellow Jacket - Vespula maculifrons male Anthidium? - Dolichovespula arenaria Looks like a female Mason Wasp (Parancistrocerus) carying prey - Parancistrocerus declivatus - female Four-toothed Mason Wasp? - Monobia quadridens Euodynerus annulatus imperialis? - Euodynerus annulatus - female Polistes aurifer? - Polistes aurifer Symmorphus Wasp harassing emerging caterpillar wasp - Euodynerus hidalgo
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
Explanation of Names
Vespidae Latreille 1802
Numbers
~300 spp. in 35 genera in our area(1); ~5,000 spp. in ~270 genera total(2)
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(3), to CA spp. in(4)
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.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
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.