Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Keys to the Costa Rican species of paper wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae)


Polistinae, social wasps, identification, taxonomic keys.
Polistinae; avispas sociales; identificación; claves taxonómicas.

How to Cite

Valverde, J.-P., Hanson, P., & Carpenter, J. (2019). Keys to the Costa Rican species of paper wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae). Revista De Biología Tropical, 67(S2), S174-S199.


Paper wasps (subfamily Polistinae) are one of the four main groups of eusocial insects in the Neotropics. They are medically important for the frequent stings inflicted on humans, but at the same time are valuable predators of pest insects. Nonetheless, there are no updated keys for the identification of the Central American species. Here we provide keys to the 18 genera and 106 species known to occur in Costa Rica, illustrated with one hundred original line drawings.


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