Polybioides raphigastra, copyright Centre for Biodiversity Genomics.

Belongs within: Vespidae.
Contains: Polistes, Ropalidia.

The Polistinae, paper wasps, are a group of eusocial wasps that get their vernacular name from the usual material of their nests though they are not the only wasps to make paper nests. Reproductive queens of Polistinae are usually little distinct morphologically from the non-reproductive workers. With about 800 known species, the Polistinae are much more diverse than their sister group, the Vespinae (Hines et al. 2007). Polistines differ from vespines in not having first metasomal tergite anteriorly truncate, so the anterior and posterior sections are not strongly angled to each other, and in having an anal lobe on the hind wing (Richards 1978).

    |--+--+--Apoica pallida HH07
    |  |  `--+--Parachartergus fraternus HH07
    |  |     `--Metapolybia cingulata HH07
    |  `--+--Polistes HH07
    |     `--Mischocyttarus HH07
    |          |--M. drewseni H79
    |          |--M. flavitarsis BS06
    |          |--M. labiatus B06
    |          `--M. mexicanus HH07
    `--Ropalidiini [Ropalidiinae] HH07
         |--Ropalidia HH07
         |--Parapolybia de Saussure 1854 NK11
         |    |--P. indica (de Saussure 1854) NK11 [=Polybia indica R78]
         |    |--P. nodosa NK11
         |    `--P. varia (Fabricius 1787) NK11 [incl. Polybia orientalis R78]
         |--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
         `--Polybioides du Buysson 1913 NK11
              |--P. angustus NK11
              |--P. gracilis van der Vecht 1966 NK11
              |--P. psecas du Buysson 1913 NK11
              `--P. raphigastra (de Saussure 1854) NK11 [incl. Polybia sumatrensis R78]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

[B06] Brèthes, J. 1906. Véspidos y eumenídidos sudamericanos (nuevo suplemento). Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 310–377.

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

[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: Larwood, G., & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 345–374. Academic Press: London.

[NK11] Nicholas, A. S., J. Kojima, M. Y. Ruslan, M. Fauzi & A. B. Idris. 2011. A list of social vespid wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) from Kuala Lompat, Krau Wildlife Reserve, Pahang, peninsular Malaysia. Serangga 16 (1): 59–74.

[R78] Richards, O. W. 1978. The Australian social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, Supplementary Series 61: 1–132.

Last updated: 12 May 2020.

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