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Species Polistes carnifex - Executioner Paper Wasp

Polistes carnifex Polistes carnifex Wasp? - Polistes carnifex - female
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
Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps)
Subfamily Polistinae (Paper Wasps)
Genus Polistes (Umbrella Paper Wasps)
No Taxon (Subgenus Onerarius)
Species carnifex (Executioner Paper Wasp)
Other Common Names
Executioner wasp
Explanation of Names
Polistes carnifex (Fabricius 1775)
from the Latin carnifex ('butcher, executioner'); from the roots carnis ('flesh, meat') + -fex ('maker'). This is in reference to the species' tendency to behead its prey.(1)
1 ssp. in our area (P. c. carnifex); 3 total(2)
The largest representative of the genus in the Neotropics (Bequaert 1936)
AZ, s.TX to Argentina; introduced to Hawaii(2)
See Also
Easily confused with Polistes major, which has a shorter oculo-malar distance (less than 1/3 the height of the eye). It also has distinct, broad black bands on the antennae that are absent in P. carnifex. Males of P. carnifex also have a more subquadrate clypeus with a flattened apical margin.(3)(4)(5)
Print References
Bequaert J. (1936) Color variation in the South American social wasp, Polistes carnifex (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Rev. Entomol. 6: 376-383.
Corn M.L. (1972) Notes on the biology of Polistes carnifex (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) in Costa Rica and Colombia. Psyche 79: 150-157. Full text
Works Cited
1.Insects of Latin America: A Photographic Guide
Stephen Cresswell. 2016. Trox Press.
2.The Social Wasps of the Americas Excluding the Vespinae
Richards, O.W. 1978. British Museum (Natural History).
3.The social Vespidae of the Guianas, particularly of British Guiana (Hymenoptera)
Bequeart, J.C. 1944. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, vol. 94, no. 7, pp. 249-304.
4.Notes on Vespoidea
Viereck, H.L. 1902. Entomological news and proceedings of the entomological section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 13, no.
5.Two new color forms of Polistes major Palisot de Beauvois from California and Arizona (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
Bequeart, J.C. 1925. Entomological news, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 7-13.