Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher Starr

Hover Wasps (Stenogastrinae)

  • Jeremy FieldEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_62-1

Hover wasps comprise approximately 60 described species in seven genera making up the vespid subfamily Stenogastrinae. They are medium-sized (1–2.5 cm long) black or brown and yellow wasps with long, thin abdomens, found mainly in rainforest ranging from India to New Guinea. There is a clear geographic dichotomy within the group. Two genera (Anischnogaster and Stenogaster) are confined to New Guinea, while the other five are found in the Oriental Region (Cochlischnogaster, Eustenogaster, Liostenogaster, Metischnogaster, and Parischnogaster) [3]. The phylogenetic position of hover wasps has been controversial, but recent work supports the hypothesis that they are the sister group of all other vespids. This has the important implication that rather than potentially representing an intermediate stage in the evolution of sociality as found in the Polistinae and Vespinae, they have evolved eusocialityindependently. Social traits shared with other social wasps therefore represent...

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  1. 1.
    Field, J. (2008). The ecology and evolution of helping in hover wasps (Hymenoptera: Stenogastrinae). In J. Korb & J. Heinze (Eds.), Ecology of social evolution (pp. 85–107). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Field, J., Cronin, A., & Bridge, C. (2006). Future fitness and helping in social queues. Nature, 441, 214–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Turillazzi, S. (2012). The biology of hover wasps. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Ecology and ConservationUniversity of Exeter, Penryn CampusCornwall TR10 9EZUK