I. Background information
Hymenoptera -Brigham Young/VPI & SU PCD0330089
A. Origin of name
- Greek - hymeno, god of marriage; ptera, wings
- Suborders - 2
- Symphyta - sawflies and horntails
- America north of Mexico - 71 families, ? genera, 17,428 species
- World - ? families, ? genera, species
- Estimate of undescribed species - ?% in N. America
C. Common names - Sawflies, parasitic wasps, ants, wasps, and bees
D. Type of metamorphosis - Holometabolous
E. Phylogenetic relationships
- Very early related to Neuropteroids, and Mecopteroids but split away from these groups and has little affinity to either now.
II. Morphological characteristics
A. Four membranous wings with the hind wings smaller than the fore wings.
B. The hinds wings have a row of hooks on their anterior margin by which the hind wing attaches to a fold on the posterior edge of the front wings.
C. Primarily chewing type mouthparts except for the bees where the labium and maxillae form a tonguelike structure through which liquid food is taken.
D. Antennae with 10 or more segments.
E. Ovipositor well developed and sometimes modified into a sting (females).
III. Biological summary for the order
A. Life history (Because of the tremendous number of species it is virtually impossible to make generalized comments about the hymenopteran life history)
- Most larvae are grublike or maggotlike.
- Sawfly larvae (Symphyta) are eruciform like the Lepidoptera but have more than five pairs of prolegs and lack crochets.
- Sex is determined by egg fertilization. Fertilized eggs develop into females.
- Hypermetamorphosis is common in parasitic groups.
- Variety of habitats but adults often can be found on flowers.
- Many species form nests in many different situations.
- Parasitic groups lay eggs in their hosts.
C. Habits (mode of existence)
- Phytophagous, predatory, parasites, and parasitoids.
D. Collecting and preserving
- Sweeping, beating vegetation, and searching flowers and foliage
- Most Hymenoptera can be pinned or pointed.
- Most Hymenoptera can be put into alcohol before pinning.
- Within the bees there are many complex behaviors for mating, finding food, offense, and defense.
- Pheromones have been identified for several species.
- Bees, in particular, are important plant pollinators
- Many parasitoids are used for biological control.
- Still other species are pests of cultivated crops.