Vespidae

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Vespid wasp
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Vespidae
Temporal range: Aptian–Recent
Vespula germanica Horizontalview Richard Bartz.jpg
Vespula germanica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Superfamily: Vespoidea
Family: Vespidae
Latreille, 1802
Subfamilies
Palaeovespa florissantia, late Eocene

The Vespidae are a large (nearly 5000 species), diverse,

workers with varying degrees of sterility relative to the queen. In temperate social species, colonies usually last only one year, dying at the onset of winter. New queens and males (drones) are produced towards the end of the summer, and after mating, the queens hibernate over winter in cracks or other sheltered locations. The nests of most species are constructed out of mud, but polistines and vespines use plant fibers, chewed to form a sort of paper (also true of some stenogastrines). Many species are pollen vectors contributing to the pollination of several plants, being potential or even effective pollinators,[2]
while others are notable predators of pest insect species.

The subfamilies

Masarinae and Zethinae are all solitary with the exception of a few communal and several subsocial species. The Stenogastrinae are facultatively eusocial, considering nests may have one or several adult females; in cases where the nest is shared by multiple females (typically, a mother and her daughters) there is reproductive division of labor and cooperative brood care.[3]

In the Polistinae and Vespinae, rather than consuming prey directly, prey are premasticated and fed to the larvae, which in return, produce a clear liquid (with high amino acid content) for the adults to consume; the exact amino acid composition varies considerably among species, but it is considered to contribute substantially to adult nutrition.[4]

Fossils are known since Aptian of the Early Cretaceous, with several described species from Cretaceous amber.[5]

Gallery

  • Polistes nest

    Polistes nest

  • Polistes wasp carrying a bit of wood from an old rake handle

    Polistes wasp carrying a bit of wood from an old rake handle

  • Vespa tropica from India

    Vespa tropica from India

  • Dolichovespula media (a European tree wasp) stripping wood from a fence for use in nest construction

    Dolichovespula media
    (a European tree wasp) stripping wood from a fence for use in nest construction

References

  1. S2CID 85737989
    .
  2. ^ Sühs, R.B.; Somavilla, A.; Putzke, J.; Köhler, A. (2009). "Pollen vector wasps (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae), Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil". Brazilian Journal of Biosciences. 7 (2): 138–143.
  3. ^ PK Piekarski, JM Carpenter, AR Lemmon, E Moriarty-Lemmon, BJ Sharanowski. (2018) Phylogenomic Evidence Overturns Current Conceptions of Social Evolution in Wasps (Vespidae). Molecular Biology and Evolution. 35:2097-2109. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msy124
  4. PMID 28563573
    .
  5. .

External links