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Dolichovespula maculata, bald-faced hornet
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Infraorder: Aculeata
Superfamily: Vespoidea

See text

Vespoidea is a superfamily of order Hymenoptera of class Insecta, although older taxonomic schemes may vary in this categorization, particularly in their recognition of a now-obsolete superfamily Scolioidea. The members of this group are known as wasps and ants.

Vespoid families[edit]

Vespoid families










Phylogenetic relationships of vespoid families based on Brothers (1999)[1]


Newer research based on four nuclear genes (elongation factor-1α F2 copy, long-wavelength rhodopsin, wingless and the D2–D3 regions of 28S ribosomal RNA—2700 bp in total) suggests the higher-level relationships need to be changed, with Rhopalosomatidae as a sister group of the Vespidae and the clade Rhopalosomatidae + Vespidae as sister to all other vespoids and apoids. Additionally, superfamily Apoidea is found to be within the Vespoidea, suggesting the dismantling of Vespoidea (sensu lato) into many smaller superfamilies; Formicoidea, Scolioidea, Tiphioidea, Thynnoidea, and Pompiloidea in addition to a much more narrowly defined Vespoidea. Finally, families Mutillidae, Tiphiidae, and Bradynobaenidae were found to be paraphyletic.[4] Another recent study confirms the need for revision of high-level relationships, although the pattern of sister-group relationships within the putative Vespoidea matches the same basic pattern as the 2008 study, including a paraphyletic Bradynobaenidae and Tiphiidae.[5]


  1. ^ Brothers, D.J. (1999). "Phylogeny and evolution of wasps, ants and bees (Hymenoptera, Chrysisoidea, Vespoidea, and Apoidea)". Zoologica Scripta. 28: 233–249. doi:10.1046/j.1463-6409.1999.00003.x. 
  2. ^ LaPolla, J.S.; Dlussky, G.M.; Perrichot, V. (2013). "Ants and the Fossil Record". Annual Review of Entomology. 58: 609–630. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-120710-100600. PMID 23317048. 
  3. ^ Grimaldi, D.; Agosti, D.; Carpenter, J. M. (1997). "New and rediscovered primitive ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Cretaceous amber from New Jersey, and their phylogenetic relationships." (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 3208: 1–43. 
  4. ^ Pilgrim, E.; von Dohlen, C.; Pitts, J. (2008). "Molecular phylogenetics of Vespoidea indicate paraphyly of the superfamily and novel relationships of its component families and subfamilies". Zoologica Scripta. 37 (5): 539–560. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00340.x. 
  5. ^ Johnson, B.R.; et al. (2013). "Phylogenomics Resolves Evolutionary Relationships among Ants, Bees, and Wasps". Current Biology. 23 (20): 2058–2062. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.050. PMID 24094856. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Vespoidea at Wikimedia Commons