Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the northeastern Nearctic region
Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K.B. Cheung
Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
Species recognition. This Caribbean species is easily distinguished from native northeastern Nearctic Polistes by its colouration. The single specimen from Toronto belongs to the light colour form that occurs on most islands within its range except Barbados. The body of these wasps is nearly entirely ferruginous except for a wide yellow apical fascia of tergum 1. Structurally the species is similar to P. annularis with which it shares the slender metasomal segment 1 and the punctate mesopleuron.
Variation. Fore wing length 14.0–18.0 mm (♀♀), male not available for examination. Nearly entirely ferruginous excluding brown flagellomeres II–V and femora, and yellowish tibiae and tarsi. In specimens from Barbados the mesosoma is marked to a variable extent with dark brown.
Distribution. Not native to the Nearctic region. We have examined one female from ON (Toronto, 19 May 1981, L. Coote; DEBU), obviously an accidental introduction or perhaps a mislabelled specimen. Lesser Antilles: St. Kitts, Montserrat, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent (including Mustique I.), Grenada (Carriacou I.), Trinidad and Barbados (Carpenter 1996a).
Biology. One nest has been reported from under an earthen overhang of a roadside bank. Prey consists of caterpillars (Richards 1978).