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Species Mischocyttarus flavitarsis - Western Paper Wasp

Big wasp - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis - female Big wasp - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis - female Paper Wasp nest - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis Wasp - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis Wasp 2 - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis - female Polistes sp? - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis Western Paper Wasp - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis Wasp - Mischocyttarus flavitarsis
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)
Subfamily Polistinae (Paper Wasps)
Genus Mischocyttarus (Long-waisted Paper Wasps)
Species flavitarsis (Western Paper Wasp)
Other Common Names
Yellow-legged Paper Wasp - not recommended as this would apply equally to several of our species of Mischocyttarus and Polistes
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Mischocyttarus flavitarsoides Zikán, 1949
Mischocyttarus flavitarsis kaibabensis Bequaert, 1933
Mischocyttarus flavitarsis idahoensis Bequaert, 1933
Mischocyttarus flavitarsis centralis Bequaert, 1933
Mischocyttarus flavitarsis flavitarsis (Saussure, 1854)
Orig. comb.: Polybia flavitarsis de Saussure, 1854
Explanation of Names
Mischocyttarus (Phi) flavitarsis (Saussure, 1854)
flavitarsis = from the Latin flāvus ('golden yellow') + tarsīs derived from the Ancient Greek ταρσός‎ tarsós ('foot, flat of the foot')
Size
Head width 3.08 - 3.95 mm(1)
Identification
A primarily black-and-yellow species with additional ferruginous markings. This species can be separated from the similar M. navajo by the typically lighter yellow brown wings (in all but one form), occasionally ferruginous T1 (especially in 2 forms), and smaller size.(2) The markings are highly variable with geography and were formerly represented as 4 subspecies within our area but were found by Snelling (1983) to intergrade too much to represent true subspecies.(1)


central (s. UT & CO, east to TX), formerly M. f. centralis: wings yellow-brown, T1 ferruginous


western (CA north and east to OR & NE), formerly M. f. flavitarsis: wings yellow-brown, T1 typically black, T2 beyond almost entirely yellow


northwestern (OR & UT, north to AB & BC), formerly M. f. idahoensis: wings yellow-brown, T1 typically black, yellow abdominal markings restricted to discrete bands

Grand Canyon (AZ), formerly M. f. kaibabensis: dark wings (like M. Navajo), body almost entirely ferruginous
Range
western (Canada: AB, BC; United States: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NB, NM, OR, TX, UT, WA); Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sonora); introduced to Hawaii
See Also
Mischocyttarus navajo is a larger species with darker wings and more restricted yellow markings on the thorax.


Polistes comanchus comanchus and Polistes comanchus navajoe have similar markings but are readily distinguished by the much shorter first abdominal segment.
Works Cited
1.Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Studies on American Polistine Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
Roy R. Snelling. 1983. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 59(1-4): 267-280.
2.The Social Wasps of the Americas Excluding the Vespinae
Richards, O.W. 1978. British Museum (Natural History).