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Synoeca septentrionalis.jpg
S. septenrionalis nest
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Subfamily: Polistinae
Tribe: Epiponini
Genus: Synoeca
de Saussure, 1852

5 described species

Synoeca is a genus of eusocial paper wasps found in the Americas. Commonly known as warrior wasps or drumming wasps, these insects are known for aggressive behavior, a threat display consisting of multiple insects guarding a nest beating their wings[1] in a synchronized fashion, and an extremely painful sting.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The genus has a wide range within the Americas, with specimens being found in the tropical and subtropical portions thereof. S. septentrionalis is generally found in the northern part of the range, having been observed as far north as Mexico, throughout Central America and northern South America; the southern part of its range extends into Brazil. The other species in the genus are predominantly found in South America, as far south as Argentina.[2] Synoeca thrives in tropical rainforests, building arboreal nests in trees, typically on the underside of major branches. A single comb is built directly on the tree trunk; and the nests have a characteristic shape which resembles an armadillo, leading to common vernacular names such as marimbondo-tatu or armadillo wasp.[3]



  1. ^ Hogue, Charles Leonard. Latin American Insects and Entomology. University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0-520-07849-7
  2. ^ Andena, Sergio R.; Carpenter, James M.; Noll, Fernando B. "A phylogenetic analysis of Synoeca De Saussure, 1852, a neotropical genus of social wasps (hymenoptera: vespidae: epiponini)". Entomologica Americana Jan 1 2009
  3. ^ Rodolpho S. T. Menezes, Sergio R. Andena, Antonio F. Carvalho, and Marco A. Costa "First records of Synoeca septentrionalis Richards, 1978 (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Epiponini) in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest". ZooKeys, Dec 3. 2001