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Polistes marginalis Fabricius

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera; Superfamily: Vespoidea; Family: Vespidae; Subfamily: Polistinae; Genus: Polistes)

Polistes marginalis Fabricius, 1804. Holotype Type Locality: Cape of Good Hope, Western Cape, South Africa.

Polistes_marginalis_SAM-HYM-A026693_habitus_lateral Polistes_marginalis_SAM-HYM-A026693_habitus_dorsal
Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Polistes_marginalis_Marian_Oliver_P3315452 Polistes_marginalis_Marian_Oliver_P4145662
Polistes_marginalis_Marian_Oliver_P3315455 Polistes_marginalis_Marian_Oliver_P3315461
Polistes_marginalis_Marian_Oliver_P4145664 Polistes marginalis nesting in a Protea plant in Scarborough, Cape Peninsula (South Africa). Photographs © Marian Oliver.

Polistes dominula & Polistes marginalis Karla Haupt

Polistes marginalis competing with an alien invasive Polistes dominula wasp for food (Photograph © Karla Haupt)

Polistes marginalis nest on window eave (Fairy Knowe, Cape Town). Photograph © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).


Polistes marginalis Picker&Griffiths

Photograph © Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths (University of Cape Town) (published in Struik's Field Guide to Insects of South Africa) as Polistes fastidiosus.


Agulhas National Park S 34 43'14.90'' E 19 55'11.56'' Altitude 14 m. Photograph © Jonathan Ball (Tokai).


Mated female overwintering in the shelter of a burnt Protea caffra head in Umtamvuna Nature Reserve, Western Heights, 31.003147 degrees S, 30.158522 degrees E, altitude 420m. Photograph © Graham Grieve.


Rondevlei Nature Reserve, nectar robbing Erica verticillata. Photograph © Dalton Gibbs.


Polistes_marginalis_Simon_van_Noort_enc04332

Gauteng. Photograph © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).


Diagnosis

Tarsal claws on mid and hind legs symmetrical in size (asymmetrical in P. fastidiosus). Colour variable, usually with black areas on reddish-orange ground colour. Pale yellow terminal bands on first two or three metasomal (abdominal) segments. Specimens smaller (8-12 mm in length), than in P. fastidious (13-17 mm in length).

Distribution

Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania including Zanzibar, Yémen.

Biology

Social, constructing communal paper nests comprising a single comb with downward pointing cells. Larvae are fed on chewed-up, soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars. See Polistinae Paper wasp home page for more details.

References

Bequaert, J.C. 1918. A revision of the Vespidae of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition: with a list of Ethiopian diplopterous wasps. Bulletin of the AMNH 39: 1-384.

Carpenter, J. M. & J. Kojima. 1997. Checklist of the species in the subfamily Polistinae (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Natural History Bulletin of Ibaraki University 1: 51-92.

Carpenter, J. M. & M. C. Day. 1988. Nomenclatural notes on Polistinae (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Proceedings of the Washington Entomological Society 90: 323-328.

Carpenter, J. M. & M. Madl. 2009. A catalogue of the Vespidae of the Malagasy Subregion (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Linzer Biologische Beiträge 41 (2): 1871-1935.

Picker, M., Griffiths, C & Weaving, A. 2002. Field Guide to Insects of South Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.

Credits

Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa) or

© Marian Oliver (Cape Town, Scarborough specimen) or © Jonathan Ball (Tokai) or © Graham Grieve (Munster) or © Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths (University of Cape Town) published in Struik's Field Guide to Insects of South Africa as Polistes fastidiosus.


Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)

 

Citation: van Noort, S. 2018. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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