ISSN 1911-2173


| Home | Table of contents | Keys | Species list | Glossary | Image data | PDF | Cite this article | Feedback | Updates |

Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the northeastern Nearctic region

CJAI 05, February 19, 2008
doi: 10.3752/cjai.2008.05

Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K.B. Cheung

Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

Family Vespidae

Five of the six recognised subfamilies occur in the Nearctic (the social Stenogastrinae are Oriental). The Euparagiinae and Masarinae (pollen wasps) have a western distribution (the single record of Masarinae from Ontario is probably due to accidental introduction). The three subfamilies that are indigenous to the northeast are the Eumeninae (mason or potter wasps), Polistinae (paper wasps) and Vespinae (yellowjackets and hornets).

References. – Brothers and Finnamore, 1993 (key to Vespoidea families and subfamilies); Carpenter, 1981 (key to Vespidae subfamilies and tribes); van der Vecht and Carpenter, 1990 (World catalogue of genera); Krombein, 1979 (catalogue of North American species).

1. Key to eastern Nearctic Vespidae subfamilies

Note: extralimital taxon in brackets.

1. Apical flagellomeres (from flagellomere III–V onward) consolidated into a club (Figs 1.5, 1.16) which may be flattened. Fore wing with two submarginal cells, first subdiscoidal cell in contact with medial cell (Fig. 1.2) (adventitious; a western group with one record from ON) [Masarinae]
[one species: Pseudomasaris edwardsii]
Apical flagellomeres not club-like but sometimes forming hook or coil in male. Fore wing with three submarginal cells, first subdiscoidal cell not in contact with medial cell (Fig. 1.1, 1.3–4) 2
2. Mid tibia with one spur* (Fig. 1.6). Gena tapering to nearly a point ventrally (Fig. 1.9); posterobasal corner of mandible almost contiguous to eye margin (separated by at most 2x ocellar diameter). Tarsal claws cleft (Fig. 1.8). Solitary Eumeninae
  *Note: some extralimital species have two spurs.  
Mid tibia with two spurs (Fig. 1.7). Gena wide throughout, not tapering ventrally (Fig. 1.10); posterobasal corner of mandible separated from ventral eye margin by more than diameter of antennal socket. Tarsal claws simple. Eusocial or socially parasitic 3
3. Clypeus with pointed apex (Fig. 1.11; apex minutely truncate in female). Head and body with extremely short, inconspicuous hair (Figs 1.11, 1.17). Metasomal tergum 1 almost straight to gently arched in profile (Fig. 1.13) Polistinae
Clypeus with broadly truncate and more or less emarginate apex (Fig. 1.12). Head and body with long hairs (Figs 1.12, 1.18). Metasomal tergum 1 with abrupt anterior declivity (Fig. 1.14) Vespinae


Gallery of Vespidae subfamilies

For further examples of Eumeninae (mason and potter wasps) click here.

| Home | Table of contents | Keys | Species list | Glossary | Image data | PDF | Cite this article | Feedback | Updates |