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Encyclopedia > Wasps
For other uses, see Wasp (disambiguation).
Wasps

Aleiodes indiscretus
parasitizing gypsy moth caterpillar.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Symphyta
Suborder: Apocrita
Families

See text.

A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is not a bee, sawfly, or an ant. Less familiar, the suborder Symphyta includes the sawflies and wood wasps, which differ from the Apocrita by having a broad connection between the thorax and abdomen. Also, Symphyta larvae are mostly herbivorous and "caterpillarlike", whereas those of Apocrita are largely predatory or parasitic.

Enlarge
Polistes wasp building nest in California

Most familiar wasps belong to the Aculeata, a division of the Apocrita whose ovipositors are modified into a venomous stinger that includes ants and bees. In this sense, the species called "velvet ants" (Mutillidae) are actually wasps.


A narrower meaning of the term wasp (http://www.fly-kill.co.uk/pages/wasps.htm) is any member of the Aculeate family Vespidae. This includes the yellowjackets (Vespula, Dolichovespula spp.) and hornets (Vespa spp.).

Contents

Characteristics

The following characteristics are present in most wasps:

Wasps are critically important in natural biocontrol. Almost every pest insect species has a wasp species that is predator or parasite upon it. Wasps are also increasingly used in agricultural pest control.


Mud daubers are a common species of wasp.


Some Wasp Families

Enlarge
A yellowjacket wasp drinking

See also

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
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Wasp Barcode Technologies is the leading manufacturer of reliable, performance-packed barcode scanners for small to medium business.
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Wasp first product was a type of barcode software and the heritage continues today with a range of barcode software solutions.
USN Ships--USS Wasp (CV-7) (848 words)
USS Wasp, a 14,700 ton aircraft carrier, was built at Quincy, Massachusetts.
Wasp was dispatched to the Pacific in June 1942 to reinforce U.S. Naval forces there in the wake of the carrier battles of Coral Sea and Midway and in preparation for offensive operations in the Southern Pacific.
On 15 September 1942, while steaming well to the southward of Guadalcanal, USS Wasp was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19.
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