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Species Polistes dominula - European Paper Wasp

European Paper Wasp - Polistes dominula Polistes dominula? - Polistes dominula - female European Paper Wasp Eating Fly - Polistes dominula European Paper Wasp - Polistes dominula Unknown wasp - Polistes dominula - female Wasp - polistes? - Polistes dominula - female Polistes dominula Polistinae - Polistes dominula
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 Polistes (Umbrella Paper Wasps)
No Taxon (Subgenus Polistes)
Species dominula (European Paper Wasp)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Polistes dominula (Christ, 1791)
Polistes dominulus (Christ, 1791) [!] - unjustified emendation (see below)
Orig. comb.: Vespa dominula Christ, 1791

Until recently, the epithet was treated as an adjective describing the masculine noun Polistes (thus "dominulus"). However, the epithet is now recognized as a feminine noun on its own as dominula (see Brown, 1954: Composition of Scientific Words). Under the rules of ICZN, a noun used as a specific epithet does not change to match the gender of the genus.
Explanation of Names
Polistes dominula (Christ, 1791)
dominula (noun) = 'lady, mistress'
This is the only member of the subgenus Polistes (Polistes) found in our area.
The mostly vibrant-orange antennae are diagnostic in our area. Globally, the species is separated from similar species within the subgenus Polistes (Polistes) by the combination of (usually) entirely black mandibles, (usually) a pair of spots on the mesoscutum, and yellow pygidium and underlying hypopygium.(1)
Throughout Eurasia (native range); across US and Canada; introduced in the 1980s or earlier.
Larvae are fed chewed-up pieces of caterpillars and other insects caught by adults. The adults, like other paper wasps, feed on nectar from flowers and other sugary liquids.
Life Cycle
Only females are able to overwinter. Some "workers" of previous season are able to survive and act as auxiliary females for the foundresses, provided the quiescent phase has been short enough. (Comment by Richard Vernier)
often mistaken for a yellow jacket
First reported in North America in 1978 near Boston, MA
Replacing native wasps in some areas (Hammon 2014)
Print References
Internet References
Fact sheet (Jacobs 2015)[cite:612026]
Works Cited
1.Revision of the West Palaearctic Polistes Latreille, with the descriptions of two species – an integrative approach
Christian Schmid-Egger, Kees van Achterberg, Rainer Neumeyer, Jérôme Morinière, & Stefan Schmidt. 2017. ZooKeys (713): 53–112.
2.Garden Insects of North America : The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs (Princeton Field Guides)
Whitney Cranshaw. 2004. Princeton University Press.
3.First detailed report of brood parasitoidism in the invasive population of the paper wasp Polistes dominulus ...
A. A. Madden, M. M. Davis, P. T. Sparks . 2010. Insectes Sociaux 57: 257-260.
4.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].