Queen hornet Vespa crabro, photographed by Markus Flath.

Belongs within: Vespidae.

The Vespinae are a group of social wasps, including hornets and yellowjackets, in which most species have queens that are distinctly larger than their colony's workers. They are distinguished from other vespids by the combination of simple tarsal claws, no parategula, a posterodorsal longitudinal carina on the hind coxa and no anal lobe on the hind wing.

    |--Provespa Ashmead 1903 NK11
    |    |--P. anomala (de Saussure 1854) NK11
    |    |--P. barthelemyi (du Buysson 1905) NK11
    |    `--P. nocturna van der Vecht 1935 NK11
    |--Dolichovespula Rohwer 1916 HH07, C85
    |    |--D. adulterina S94
    |    |    |--D. a. adulterina S94
    |    |    `--D. a. montivaga S94
    |    |--D. maculata HH07
    |    |--D. media S94
    |    |    |--D. m. media S94
    |    |    `--D. m. sugare S94
    |    `--D. norvegicoides S94
    |         |--D. n. norvegicoides S94
    |         `--D. n. pacifica S94
    |--Vespula Thomson 1869 NK11
    |    |  i. s.: V. arisana [=V. minuta arisana] CD11
    |    |         V. austriaca (Panzer 1799) NK11
    |    |         V. flaviceps (Smith 1870) NK11 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |           |--V. f. flaviceps S94
    |    |           `--V. f. lewisii S94
    |    |         V. kingdonwardi Archer 1981 NK11
    |    |         V. koreensis (Radoszkowsk 1887) NK11
    |    |         V. maculata (Linnaeus 1763) [=Vespa maculata] BM76
    |    |         V. maculifrons HH07
    |    |         V. nursei Archer 1981 NK11
    |    |         V. orbata du Buysson 1902 NK11 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |         V. pensylvanica MG06
    |    |         V. rufa (Linnaeus 1758) [incl. V. gongshanensis Dong 2005] CD11
    |    |           |--V. r. rufa CD11
    |    |           |--V. r. grahami CD11
    |    |           |--V. r. intermedia CD11
    |    |           `--V. r. schrenckii CD11
    |    |         V. shidai S94
    |    |         V. sibirica CD11
    |    |         V. squamosa HH07
    |    `--V. (Paravespula Blüthgen 1938) C85
    |         |--V. (*P.) vulgaris (Linnaeus 1758) [=Vespa vulgaris, Dolichovespula (*P.) vulgaris] C85
    |         `--V. (P.) germanica (Fabricius 1793) [=Vespa germanica] C85
    `--Vespa Linnaeus 1758 NK11
         |--V. affinis (Linnaeus 1764) NK11
         |--V. analis Fabricius 1775 NK11 [incl. V. hekouensis Dong & Wang 2003 CD11, V. maguanensis Dong 2001 CD11]
         |    |--V. a. analis CD11
         |    |--V. a. insularis S94
         |    |--V. a. kuangsiana CD11
         |    |--V. a. nigrans CD11
         |    `--V. a. parallela CD11
         |--V. auraria Smith 1852 NK11
         |--V. austriaca R13
         |--V. basalis Smith 1852 NK11
         |--V. bellicosa de Saussure 1854 NK11
         |--V. bicolor Fabricius 1787 NK11
         |--V. biglumis Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |--V. binghami du Buysson 1905 NK11
         |--V. calida Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |--V. canadensis Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |--V. crabro Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |    |--V. c. crabro S94
         |    `--V. c. flavofasciata S94
         |--V. dorylloides B03
         |--V. ducalis Smith 1852 NK11
         |--V. dybowskii André 1884 NK11
         |--V. emarginata Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |--V. fercida Smith 1858 NK11
         |--V. flavescens Fabricius 1775 [=Bembex flavescens] BM76
         |--V. fumida van der Vecht 1959 NK11
         |--V. luctuosa de Saussure 1854 NK11
         |--V. mandarina Smith 1852 NK11
         |    |--V. m. mandarina S94
         |    `--V. m. japonica S94
         |--V. mocsaryana du Buysson 1905 NK11
         |--V. multimaculata Pérez 1910 NK11
         |--V. orientalis D02
         |--V. philippinensis de Saussure 1854 NK11
         |--V. rufa Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |--V. rupestris Linnaeus 1758 L58
         |--V. saxonica MS01
         |--V. sibirica MS01
         |--V. simillima S94
         |    |--V. s. simillima S94
         |    `--V. s. xanthoptera S94
         |--V. soror du Buysson 1905 NK11
         |--V. sylvestris MS01
         |--V. tropica (Linnaeus 1758) NK11
         |    |--V. t. tropica S94
         |    `--V. t. pulchra S94
         |--V. velutina NK11
         `--V. vivax Smith 1870 NK11

Vespula flaviceps (Smith 1870) NK11 [=Vespula flavipes (l. c.) CD11; incl. Vespula gracilia CD11, Vespa quadrimaculata CD11, Vespula yulongensis Dong & Wang in Dong et al. 2002 CD11]

Vespula orbata du Buysson 1902 NK11 [incl. V. minuta CD11, V. nujiangensis Dong & Wang in Dong et al. 2004 CD11]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[BM76] Bohart, R. M., & A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[C85] Cardale, J. C. 1985. Vespoidea and Sphecoidea. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 2. Hymenoptera: Formicoidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea pp. 150–303. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

[CD11] Carpenter, J. M., L. Dvořák, J. Kojima, L. T. P. Nguyen, A. Perrard & K. M. Pickett. 2011. Taxonomic notes on the Vespinae of Yunnan (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). American Museum Novitates 3709: 1–10.

[D02] Donovan, B. J. 2002. Description of Sphecophaga orientalis sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae), a potential parasitoid of Vespula spp. (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Vespinae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 25: 3–15.

[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.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MG06] Mallatt, J., & G. Giribet. 2006. Further use of nearly complete 28S and 18S rRNA genes to classify Ecdysozoa: 37 more arthropods and a kinorhynch. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 772–794.

[MS01] Mocsáry, A., & V. Szépligeti. 1901. Hymenopterák [Hymenopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 121–169. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[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.

[R13] Reuter, O. M. 1913. Lebensgewohnheiten und Instinkte der Insekten bis zum Erwachen der sozialen Instinkte. R. Friedländer & Sohn: Berlin.

[S94] Shimizu, A. 1994. Phylogeny and classification of the family Pompilidae (Hymenoptera). Tokyo Metropolitan University Bulletin of Natural History 2: 1–142.

Last updated: 11 May 2020.

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