The species discussed in this paper has been generally misidentified by previous authors. BINGHAM (1897) and DOVER (1929, 1931) confused it with the closely related P. hebraeus (F.) (a junior synonym of P. olivaceus (DeGeer)). Bequaert correctly separated this species from its close relatives (P. olivaceus and P. jadwigae Dalla Torre), but unfortunately he did not publish his conclusions. Specimens in various collections have been labelled by him as P. jokahamae Radoszkowski, 1887, a name that has also been used by Japanese authors (SONAN, 1943; TSUNEKI, 1957, 1962; YOSHIKAWA, 1962; mostly emended as “yokohamae”). The original description of P. jokahamae, however, does not apply to the present species and leaves no doubt that Radoszkowski’s species must be regarded as a synonym of P. japonicus Saussure, 1858. The oldest available name for oui"" species appears to be P. rothneyi, proposed in 1900 by P. CAMERON for a male Polistes from Barrackpore, Bengal. In the same paper Cameron described the female from Assam, but he did not recognize it as being conspecific with rothneyi and called it rufolineatus. Polistes rothneyi belongs to a group of closely related species which appears to deserve subgeneric rank. The name proposed here for this group is taken from Dr. J. Bequaert’s unpublished notes, now preserved in the U.S. National Museum and kindly made available to me by Dr. Karl V. Krombein.