Guide to insects
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Bees, ants, wasps
Last updated 08/15/2005
| Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, and Wasps|
Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, and Wasps
Hymenopterais a tremendously diverse order of insects, as well as one of the bestknown. It includes all ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies. Hymenoptera mayhave four membranous wings, or in the case of worker ants, be wingless.The female members of this order (apart from sawflies), have a“stinger.” The stinger is actually a modified ovipositor (egg-layingorgan). It is used both for defense and often to inject venom, toparalyze or kill prey.
Adults of this order mostly feed on nectar or honeydew, while theirlarvae may feed on plant tissue, nectar, or other insects. The majorityof Hymenoptera specimens in the collection are parasitic wasps. Most ofthese are actually considered “parisitoids,” because while their larvaewill feed on a live host as a parasite does, it will actually kill thehost as the wasp reaches maturity as a part of its lifecycle.
The Coal Oil Point collection contains over 170 morphospecies ofHymenoptera, most of which are small parasitic wasps. The wasps accountfor a large portion of the collection’s overall diversity.
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