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Order Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies

Metallic Green Bee - Agapostemon melliventris Bumblebee mimic? - Bombus griseocollis Desert Leafcutter Ant - Acromyrmex versicolor - Acromyrmex versicolor - female Ant ID please - Camponotus Tachypompilus with unknown spider - Tachypompilus ferrugineus - female Bee - Andrena Yellow bee with yellow pollen - Diadasia enavata Braconid Wasp - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The higher taxonomy of Hymenoptera is in flux, so several traditional, artificial major groupings are retained for convenience both in the guide and many other sources. Recent advances in higher taxonomy summarized in(1)(2).
Explanation of Names
Hymenoptera: Greek hymen 'membrane' + pteron 'wing'.
wasp: Old English waesp, waefs; the Indo-European root was *wops- (original meaning related to weave); Latin vespa is of the same origin; bee goes ca. 5,000 years back to the Indo-European bhī 'bee' (echoic of the buzzing) (Partridge 1958)
Numbers
ca. 18,000 spp. in >2000 genera in our area(3); worldwide, 115,000 spp. known and ~1,000,000 estimated(1) (up to 3M, according to some workers)
Families represented in our area
Artificial/non-monophyletic groups parenthesized; taxa not yet in the guide marked (*).
"Symphyta" (superfamilies not used in the guide)
Superfamily Xyeloidea: Family Xyelidae
Superfamily Pamphilioidea: Family Pamphiliidae
Superfamily Tenthredinoidea: Families Argidae, Cimbicidae, Diprionidae, Pergidae, Tenthredinidae
Superfamily Cephoidea: Family Cephidae
Superfamily Siricoidea: Families *Anaxyelidae, Siricidae
Superfamily Xiphydrioidea: Family Xiphydriidae
Superfamily Orussoidea: Family Orussidae
Superfamily Stephanoidea: Family Stephanidae
Superfamily Trigonalyoidea: Family Trigonalidae
Superfamily Evanioidea: Families Aulacidae, Evaniidae, Gasteruptiidae
Superfamily Ceraphronoidea: Families Ceraphronidae, Megaspilidae
Superfamily Diaprioidea: Family Diapriidae
Superfamily Platygastroidea: Family Platygastridae
Superfamily Cynipoidea: Cynipidae, Figitidae (incl. Charipidae), Ibaliidae, *Liopteridae
Superfamily *Mymarommatoidea: Family *Mymarommatidae
Superfamily Ichneumonoidea: Families Braconidae, Ichneumonidae
Superfamily Apoidea: Families Ampulicidae, Crabronidae, Sphecidae
Superfamily Formicoidea: Family Formicidae
Superfamily Scolioidea: Family Scoliidae
Superfamily Thynnoidea: Families Chyphotidae, Thynnidae
Superfamily Tiphioidea: Families Sierolomorphidae, Tiphiidae
Superfamily Vespoidea: Families Rhopalosomatidae, Vespidae
Size
0.2-115 mm, typically 2-30 mm(3)
Identification
Characteristics based on(3)(4):
Typically two pairs of wings, with forewings usually larger than hindwings, but some groups (such as ants) wingless in most life stages.
Wings have few cross-veins, these are angled to form closed cells.
Antennae typically with 10 or more segments. Often 13 segments in male, 12 in female, but sometimes as few as 3 or up to 60 segments.
Antennae longer than head, but usually not highly elongated (longer than head and thorax combined). Highly elongated in some parasitic groups.
Females have prominent ovipositor, modified in some groups to be a "stinger", used to paralyze prey and for defense.
Chewing mouthparts, but some groups have a "tongue" used for lapping up fluids, such as nectar.
Complete metamorphosis.
Several groups highly social (eusocial), with separate reproductive and worker castes.
Excellent manual for identification (down to subfamily level):(5)
OVERVIEW OF HIGHER TAXA
Family Argidae - Argid Sawflies

Family Cephidae - Stem Sawflies
   
Family Cimbicidae - Cimbicid Sawflies

Family Diprionidae - Conifer Sawflies

Family Orussidae - Parasitic Wood Wasps
     
Family Pamphiliidae - Webspinning and Leafrolling Sawflies


Family Siricidae - Horntails

Family Tenthredinidae - Common Sawflies


Family Xiphydriidae - Xiphydriid Wood Wasps
   


Family Stephanidae - Stephanid Wasps
   



   
   



Family Pelecinidae - Pelecinids
   
Family Proctotrupidae - Proctotrupids
   



   




   

   
Family Evaniidae - Ensign Wasps

Family Gasteruptiidae - Gasteruptiid


Family Agaonidae - Fig wasps
winged female wingless female

Family Chalcididae - Chalcid Wasps

Family Encyrtidae - Encyrtids




   




Family Pteromalidae - Pteromalids

   


Family Braconidae - Braconid Wasps

Family Ichneumonidae - Ichneumon Wasps


Aculeata - Bees, Ants, and other Stinging Wasps
Apoidea I – Bees (Anthophila)
Family Andrenidae - Mining Bees

Family Apidae - Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees

Family Colletidae - Plasterer Bees, Masked or Yellow-faced Bees

Family Halictidae - Sweat Bees

Family Megachilidae - Leaf-cutter bees, Mason Bees, and allies

Family Melittidae - Melittid Bees


Apoidea II - Apoid Wasps (traditional Sphecidae)
Ampulicidae - Cockroach wasps


Sphecidae - Thread waisted wasps


Bethylidae - Bethylids

Family Chrysididae - Cuckoo Wasps

Dryinidae - Dryinids

Embolemidae - Embolemids




Family Mutillidae – Velvet Ants
     
     
Family Pompilidae – Spider Wasps

Family Sapygidae - Sapygid Wasps


Family Scoliidae - Scoliid Wasps


Family Chyphotidae - Chyphotid Wasps

Family Thynnidae - Thynnid Wasps


Family Sierolomorphidae - Sierolomorphid Wasps

Family Tiphiidae - Tiphiid Wasps


Family Rhopalosomatidae - Rhopalosomatid Wasps

Family Vespidae - Yellowjackets, Paper Wasps, and Hornets; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps
Habitat
Varied. Many adults are found on flowers.
Food
Many groups are predatory, feeding their young with meat, usually of other insects. Some groups provision their young with pollen, and many adults take nectar.
Life Cycle
Complete metamorphosis (holometabolus). Life cycle has egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Some larvae (such as sawflies) are caterpillar-like, most are grub-like, lacking legs.
Males usually develop from unfertilized eggs in this order, a feature of their biology which likely contributed to the evolution of sociality independently in several groups.
In many groups, young are provisioned by the adults, however in many groups the larvae are parasitoids (predatory parasites) of other insects. Larvae of sawflies feed on plants, and these are believed to be a basal group, linking hymenoptera with related orders, such as Lepidoptera. Predatory, provisioning, and parasitoid life-styles are believed to have evolved in groups descended from plant-feeding (as larvae) hymenoptera.
Remarks
About classification: A recurring event in Hymenopteran evolution is one branch that becomes so successful it seems like the main tree, or at least equal to its parent and "aunt and uncle" branches.
We think of sawflies, horntails, and wood wasps as a small branch of the Hymenoptera (the Symphyta), but the Aculeata are really just an offshoot from one of their many branches. We likewise think of the non-stinging, parasitic Aculeata like the Ichneumenoids as another branch, but the stinging hymenoptera known as Apocrita are just an offshoot of one of their branches. In the same way, one group of the Apocrita, the Apoid Wasps, gave rise to the bees, while another, the Vespoid Wasps, gave rise to the ants. In each case, the new offshoot is different enough that it's easier to treat the groups it came from as if they're a separate branch- they have more in common with each other than with their offshoot. That's why BugGuide has groups like the Symphyta and the parasitic Apocrita separate from the Aculeata, and bees and ants separate from the families they came from. These are for convenience, and our arrangement shouldn't be taken as scientific fact.
About stings: Ordinarily, Hymenoptera stings will only cause local pain and swelling. However, some individuals may be allergic to Hymenoptera stings. An allergic reaction to Hymenoptera stings occurs once the victim becomes sensitized to the venom from a previous sting. The allergic reaction is caused by the immune system, which has now been oversensitized to the venom and releases histamines into the bloodstream. Histamines dilate blood capillaries, causing the skin to appear red and feel warm, and also make the capillaries more permeable, which allows fluid to escape into the tissues. This causes swelling, which is manifested as rapidly appearing hives, accompanied by severe itching. In a severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock, the tissues of the throat swell and the victim may have difficulty breathing and, unless promptly treated, death may result.
See Also
wasps/bees are mimicked by many flies, moths, mantidflies, beetles, true bugs, spiders, and others --sometimes very convincingly.
Internet References
Discover Life (info and keys)
Works Cited
1.Phylogeny and classification of Hymenoptera
Sharkey M.J. 2007. Zootaxa 1668: 521–548.
2.Phylogenetic relationships among superfamilies of Hymenoptera
Sharkey M.J., Carpenter J.M., Vilhelmsen L., et al. 2012. Cladistics 28(1): 80-112.
3.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
4.Photographic Atlas of Entomology and Guide To Insect Identification
James L. Castner. 2000. Feline Press.
5.Hymenoptera of the world: an identification guide to families
Goulet H., Huber J., eds. 1993. Agriculture Canada Publication 1894/E. 668 pp.