Order Hymenoptera – wasps, bees, ants
Hymenoptera means “membrane wing”
- Great diversity in habitat and behavior, includes the social insects
- Most adults winged with 2 pair of membranous wings with few veins
- Many have a constricted “waist” between thorax and abdomen.
- Most, have chewing mouthparts (some, modified to lap or suck fluids)
- In most bees, predatory wasps, and some ants, oviposter modified to a stinger.
- Social behavior ranges from solitary to a complex class-based organization.
- In many species- adults feed on pollen and nectar; others prey on other insects for the purpose of providing food for developing larvae.
- Many species have larvae that are internal or external parasites on other insects.
- Many are important pollinators, and maintain plant diversity and crop production.