In 1913 A. von Schulthess published under the title "Parapolybia Saussure" a revision of the Old World social wasps which in general appearance are similar to certain species of the American genus Polybia. Only a few months later R. du Buysson described some new species of "Polybia" from Asia and created a new genus Polybioides for one African and two Oriental species. Apart from the treatment of two African species of Polybioides in Bequaert's excellent work on the Vespidae of the Belgian Congo (1918; see also Bequaert, 1922) this group of wasps has since then received little attention. A detailed study of the Oriental wasps which at different times have been described or recorded as Polybia has led me to the conclusion that many of these belong to the genera Polistes and Ropalidia, and that the Old World genera Polybioides and Parapolybia are represented in the Oriental region by only four and three species, respectively. The confused taxonomy of these wasps is well illustrated by the fact that Von Schulthess's genus Parapolybia contains, in addition to four species now regarded as correctly placed under this name, two Polybioides, one Polistes and two Ropalidia. Du Buysson described the two sexes of a mimetic Polistes (imitator of Polybioides) as different species of Polybia (actually an exclusively American genus), and he used for the true Parapolybia the name Stelopolybia Ducke, another genus which is restricted to the New World. The relations between Parapolybia and Stelopolybia have remained obscure for a long time, and recently Richards & Richards (1951: 70) stated that no reliable character had been proposed to separate Parapolybia Saussure from Stelopolybia Ducke.