Polistes gallicus, photographed by Carlogalliani.

Belongs within: Vespidae.

The Polistinae include the paper wasps, a group of eusocial wasps that get their vernacular name from the material of their nests, though they are not the only wasps to make paper nests. With about 800 known species, the Polistinae are much more diverse than their sister group, the Vespinae (Hines et al. 2007).

Characters (from Carpenter 1982): Mandible: clypeus ratio 0.71-1.38. Clypeus dorsally straight, ventrally produced into a point, sharp or rounded, with lateral angles produced. Mesosoma with secondary spiracular entrance present. Male genitalia with basal ring short, dorsally narrow and laterally expanded; volsella with digitus a broad pincerlike lobe, cuspis short. Larva with lower margin of clypeus dorsal to level of mandibular bases.

    |--Ropalidiini HH07
    |    |--Ropalidia HH07
    |    |    |--R. aethiopica (Du Buysson 1906) [=Icaria aethiopica] GS61
    |    |    |--R. cincta (Lepeletier 1836) [=Epipona cincta, Icaria cincta; incl. I. tricinctella Gribodo 1895] GS61
    |    |    |--R. opifex HH07
    |    |    `--R. plebeiana B88
    |    `--Belonogaster HH07
    |         |--B. brachystomus Kohl 1894 GS61
    |         |--B. filiventris (Saussure 1853) [=Raphigaster filiventris; incl. B. braunsi Kohl 1894] GS61
    |         |--B. juncea (Fabricius 1781) [=Vespa juncea; incl. B. colonialis Kohl 1894] GS61
    |         `--B. lateritius Gerstaecker 1857 GS61
    `--+--+--Apoica pallida HH07
       |  `--+--Parachartergus fraternus HH07
       |     `--Metapolybia cingulata HH07
       `--+--Mischocyttarus HH07
          |    |--M. drewseni H79
          |    |--M. flavitarsis BS06
          |    `--M. mexicanus HH07
          `--Polistes HH07
               |--P. (Polistes) chinensis H02
               |--P. dominulus WD04
               |--P. fuscatus WD04
               |--P. gallicus YS10
               |--P. humilis WD04
               |--P. jadwagae SS99
               |--P. jokohamae T06
               |--P. marginalis (Fabricius 1775) [=Vespa marginalis] GS61
               |    |--P. m. marginalis GS61
               |    `--P. m. africanus Palisot de Beauvais 1805 [=P. africana] GS61
               |--P. metricus HH07
               |--P. opinabilis YS10
               |--P. rothneyi T06
               |--P. smithii Saussure 1854 GS61
               |    |--P. s. smithii GS61
               |    `--P. s. defectivus Gerstaecker 1871 GS61
               `--P. variabilis R54

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[BS06] Brady, S. G., T. R. Schultz, B. L. Fisher & P. S. Ward. 2006. Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (48): 18172-18177.

Carpenter, J. M. 1982. The phylogenetic relationships and natural classification of the Vespoidea (Hymenoptera). Systematic Entomology 7: 11-38.

[GS61] Giordani Soika, A. 1961. Hymenoptera (Aculeata): Vespidae. In: Hanström, B., P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck. South African Animal Life: Results of the Lund University Expedition in 1950–1951 vol. 8 pp. 440-451. Almqvist & Wiksell: Uppsala.

[H02] Harris, A. 2002. Recent range extensions of some introduced Hymenoptera, with observations. Weta 24: 20-21.

[HH07] Hines, H. M., J. H. Hunt, T. K. O'Connor, J. J. Gillespie & S. A. Cameron. 2007. Multigene phylogeny reveals eusociality evolved twice in vespid wasps. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 104 (9): 3295-3299.

[H79] Howse, P. E. 1979. The uniqueness of insect societies: Aspects of defense and integration. In Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms (G. Larwood & B. R. Rosen, eds) pp. 345-374. Academic Press: London.

[R54] Riek, E. F. 1954. The Australian syrphid flies of the subfamily Cerioidinae (Diptera: Syrphidae): systematics and wing folding. Australian Journal of Zoology 2 (1): 100-130.

[SS99] Stein, G. M., G. Schaller, U. Pfüller, M. Wagner, B. Wagner, M. Schietzel & A. Büssing. 1999. Characterisation of granulocyte stimulation by thionins from European mistletoe and from wheat. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1426: 80-90.

[T06] Tsurusaki, N. 2006. Geographic variation of chromosomes and somatic morphology in the Japanese polymorphic species Leiobunum hiraiwai (Arachnida: Opiliones: Sclerosomatidae). Zootaxa 1325: 157-190.

[WD04] Wardhaugh, C. W., & R. K. Didham. 2004. The effect of introduced wasp (Vespula vulgaris, Hymenoptera: Vespidae) predation on the dispersive life history stages of beech scale insects (Ultracoelostoma spp., Homoptera: Margarodidae). New Zealand Entomologist 27: 91-101.

[YS10] Yefremova, Z. A. & I. S. Strakhova. 2010. A review of the species of the genus Elasmus Westwood (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae) from Russia and neighboring countries. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 89 (3): 634-661.

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