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. The hornets of the genus Vespa commonly construct aerial nests, suspended from branches or within hollow tree trunks.

    |--Provespa Ashmead 1903NK11
    |    |--P. anomala (de Saussure 1854)NK11
    |    |--P. barthelemyi (du Buysson 1905)NK11
    |    `--P. nocturna van der Vecht 1935NK11
    |--Dolichovespula Rohwer 1916HH07, C85
    |    |--D. adulterinaS94
    |    |    |--D. a. adulterinaS94
    |    |    `--D. a. montivagaS94
    |    |--D. maculataHH07
    |    |--D. mediaS94
    |    |    |--D. m. mediaS94
    |    |    `--D. m. sugareS94
    |    `--D. norvegicoidesS94
    |         |--D. n. norvegicoidesS94
    |         `--D. n. pacificaS94
    |--Vespula Thomson 1869NK11
    |    |  i. s.: V. arisana [=V. minuta arisana]CD11
    |    |         V. austriaca (Panzer 1799)NK11
    |    |         V. flaviceps (Smith 1870)NK11 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |           |--V. f. flavicepsS94
    |    |           `--V. f. lewisiiS94
    |    |         V. kingdonwardi Archer 1981NK11
    |    |         V. koreensis (Radoszkowsk 1887)NK11
    |    |         V. maculata (Linnaeus 1763) [=Vespa maculata]BM76
    |    |         V. maculifronsHH07
    |    |         V. norvegicaRD77
    |    |         V. nursei Archer 1981NK11
    |    |         V. orbata du Buysson 1902NK11 [incl. V. minutaCD11, V. nujiangensis Dong & Wang in Dong et al. 2004CD11]
    |    |         V. pensylvanicaMG06
    |    |         V. rufa (Linnaeus 1758) [incl. V. gongshanensis Dong 2005]CD11
    |    |           |--V. r. rufaCD11
    |    |           |--V. r. grahamiCD11
    |    |           |--V. r. intermediaCD11
    |    |           `--V. r. schrenckiiCD11
    |    |         V. shidaiS94
    |    |         V. sibiricaCD11
    |    |         V. squamosaHH07
    |    `--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 1758NK11
         |--V. affinis (Linnaeus 1764)NK11
         |--V. analis Fabricius 1775NK11 [incl. V. hekouensis Dong & Wang 2003CD11, V. maguanensis Dong 2001CD11]
         |    |--V. a. analisCD11
         |    |--V. a. insularisS94
         |    |--V. a. kuangsianaCD11
         |    |--V. a. nigransCD11
         |    `--V. a. parallelaCD11
         |--V. anglicaR26
         |--V. auraria Smith 1852NK11
         |--V. austriacaR13
         |--V. basalis Smith 1852NK11
         |--V. bellicosa de Saussure 1854NK11
         |--V. bicolor Fabricius 1787NK11
         |--V. biglumis Linnaeus 1758L58
         |--V. binghami du Buysson 1905NK11
         |--V. calida Linnaeus 1758L58
         |--V. canadensis Linnaeus 1758L58
         |--V. crabro Linnaeus 1758L58
         |    |--V. c. crabroS94
         |    `--V. c. flavofasciataS94
         |--V. dasypodiaP92
         |--V. dorylloidesB03
         |--V. ducalis Smith 1852NK11
         |--V. dybowskii André 1884NK11
         |--V. fercida Smith 1858NK11
         |--V. flavescens Fabricius 1775 [=Bembex flavescens]BM76
         |--V. fumida van der Vecht 1959NK11
         |--V. luctuosa de Saussure 1854NK11
         |--V. mandarina Smith 1852NK11
         |    |--V. m. mandarinaS94
         |    `--V. m. japonicaS94
         |--V. mocsaryana du Buysson 1905NK11
         |--V. multimaculata Pérez 1910NK11
         |--V. orientalisD02
         |--V. philippinensis de Saussure 1854NK11
         |--V. rufa Linnaeus 1758L58
         |--V. rupestris Linnaeus 1758L58
         |--V. saxonicaMS01
         |--V. sibiricaMS01
         |--V. simillimaS94
         |    |--V. s. simillimaS94
         |    `--V. s. xanthopteraS94
         |--V. soror du Buysson 1905NK11
         |--V. sylvestrisMS01
         |--V. tropica (Linnaeus 1758)NK11
         |    |--V. t. tropicaS94
         |    `--V. t. pulchraS94
         |--V. velutinaNK11
         `--V. vivax Smith 1870NK11

Vespula flaviceps (Smith 1870)NK11 [=Vespula flavipes (l. c.)CD11; incl. Vespula graciliaCD11, Vespa quadrimaculataCD11, Vespula yulongensis Dong & Wang in Dong et al. 2002CD11]

*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.

[P92] Poinar, G. O., Jr. 1992. Life in Amber. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

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

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

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

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