|Dolichovespula maculata, bald-faced hornet|
The Vespoidea are a superfamily of wasps in the order Hymenoptera, although older taxonomic schemes may vary in this categorization, particularly in their recognition of a now-obsolete superfamily Scolioidea, as well as the relationship to ants. Vespoidea includes wasps with a large variety of lifestyles; eusocial, social, and solitary habits, predators, scavengers, parasitoids, and some herbivores.
Vespoid wasp females have antennae with 10 flagellomeres, while males have 11 flagellomeres. The edge of the pronotum reaches or passes the tegula. Many species display some level of sexual dimorphism. Most species have fully developed wings, but some have reduced or absent wings in one or both sexes.
- †Armaniidae - "ant-like wasps"
- Bradynobaenidae - bradynobaenid wasps
- Chyphotidae - chyphotid wasps
- Mutillidae - velvet ants/velvet wasps
- Myrmosidae - myrmosid wasps
- Pompilidae - spider wasps
- Rhopalosomatidae - rhopalosomatid wasps
- Sapygidae - sapygid wasps
- Scoliidae - scoliid wasps
- Sierolomorphidae - sierolomorphid wasps
- Thynnidae - thynnid wasps
- Tiphiidae - tiphiid wasps
- Vespidae - paper wasps, hornets, potter wasps, yellow jackets, and relatives
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 historical view of family 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 nest 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. 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.
- Hymenoptera of the world : an identification guide to families. Goulet, Henri., Huber, John T. (John Theodore), Canada. Agriculture Canada. Research Branch. Ottawa, Ont.: Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research. 1993. ISBN 978-0660149332. OCLC 28024976.
- 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.
- 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.[permanent dead link]
- 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.
- 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.
- Media related to Vespoidea at Wikimedia Commons