Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

carolina or rubiginosus


Two new color forms of Polistes major Palisot de Beauvois from California and Arizona (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
By Bequeart, J.C
Entomological news, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 7-13., 1925
Primarily useful for P. major and P. palmarum (originally considered forms of a single species), though some comparisons to P. carnifex are also given.
Full text

Notes on Vespoidea
By Viereck, H.L.
Entomological news and proceedings of the entomological section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 13, no., 1902
Useful for keying P. carnifex and P. major, which range into the southern US.
Full text

The social Vespidae of the Guianas, particularly of British Guiana (Hymenoptera)
By Bequeart, J.C.
Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, vol. 94, no. 7, pp. 249-304., 1944
Useful for keying P. carnifex and P. major, which range into the southern US.
Full text (relevant portion of the key)

Unravelling cryptic species diversity in eastern Nearctic paper wasps, Polistes (Fuscopolistes), using male genitalia...
By Buck M., Cobb T.P., Stahlhut J.K., Hanner R.H.
Zootaxa 3502: 1-48, 2012
Full title: Unravelling cryptic species diversity in eastern Nearctic paper wasps, Polistes (Fuscopolistes), using male genitalia, morphometrics and DNA barcoding, with descriptions of two new species (Hymenoptera: Vespidae).
Full text

Natural History and Evolution of Paper-Wasps (Oxford Science Publications)
By Stefano Turillazzi, Mary Jane West-Eberhard
Oxford University Press, 1996

The Social Wasps of the Americas Excluding the Vespinae
By Richards, O.W.
British Museum (Natural History), 1978
vii + 580 pp. and 4 colour plates. Provides keys to all the genera and species of New World Polistinae. Keys are poorly illustrated and in many cases only useful for experts. Key to Polistes difficult to use because it also includes the numerous Central and South American species. Separation of females of the widespread, hypervariable P. fuscatus from related species often inaccurate. Key to Polistes males does not work for most species.

Vespidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Puerto Rico, West Indies
By Carpenter J.M., Genaro J.A.
Insecta Mundi 0202: 1-35, 2011

The social wasps of California (Vespinae, Polistinae, Polybiinae)
By Bohart R.M., Bechtel R.C.
Bull. U.C. Insect Survey 4: 73-101, 1957