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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251887

Title: A New Species of Vespula, and First Record of Vespa crabro L. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae) from Guatemala, Central America

item Landolt, Peter
item MONZON SIERRA, JOSE - University Of The Valley Of Guatemala
item Unruh, Thomas
item ZACK, RICHARD - Washington State University

Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2010
Publication Date: 9/29/2010
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Monzon Sierra, J., Unruh, T.R., Zack, R. 2010. A New Species of Vespula, and First Record of Vespa crabro L. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae) from Guatemala, Central America. Zootaxa 2629:61-68.

Interpretive Summary: Social wasps are a stinging hazard for farm workers that harvest fruit and these wasps also cause direct feeding damage to cherries, pears, and grapes. A number of species of social wasps are invasive and have been moved into new areas with movement of people and goods. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, with scientists at Washington State University and Universidad Valle de Guatemala, surveyed yellowjacket wasps in Guatemala and tested chemical attractants to determine the species present and how they might be detected if introduced into new areas. A species of yellowjacket was discovered that is unknown to science, and it is here described and named. This clarification of wasp taxonomy and information on social wasps from Central America is useful to assess the potential for additional introductions of wasps and to develop methods for detection and monitoring.

Technical Abstract: Vespula akrei Landolt sp. nov. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae; Vespinae) is described from Guatemala. The first record of Vespa crabro L. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae:Vespinae) in Guatemala is given, and Vespula Inexspectata Eck (1994) from Mexico is re-described. We place Vespula akrei sp. nov. in the Vespula vulgaris (L.) species group (=Paravespula Bluthgen) based on morphology, color pattern, and DNA sequences from two mitochrondrial genes. It is presently known only from the Sierra de las Minas mountain range in southeastern Guatemala. Studied specimens are deposited in the entomological collections of the American Museum of Natural History, United States Museum of Natural History, Universidad Valle de Guatemala, and Washington State University.