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Order Strepsiptera - Twisted-winged Insects

Polistes with Strepsiptera? - Xenos Strepsiptera - Halictophagus - female Wasp - Xenos Wasp parasite - Xenos Polistes parasites - Xenos Strepsiptera - male ? Stylopid in sphecid - Paraxenos Strepsitera- unknown family
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Strepsiptera (Twisted-winged Insects)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Previously these have been considered to be beetles. (1)
Explanation of Names
Greek streptos (στρεψισ) 'twisted' + pteron (πτερον) 'wing'(2)
Numbers
84 spp. in 11 genera of 5 families in our area(3); worldwide, ~600 spp. in 43 genera of 10 families(4) arranged in 2 suborders, Mengenillidia (a single family, Mengenillidae of a dozen spp.) and Stylopidia (7 families)(5)(6)
Overview of our fauna (* –taxa not yet in the guide; classification per(4))
Order Strepsiptera
Family Corioxenidae
Family *Elenchidae
Family Stylopidae
Size
0.5-4 mm(7)
Identification
Adult females are larviform/neotenic endoparasites; adult males are free-living, and their sole mission is to find and fertilize a female. They have reduced forewings and fan-shaped hind wings, branched antennae, and raspberry-like eyes, unique among living insects and somewhat similar to the eyes of trilobites.(6)
Key to families (adult males) in(3)
Range
worldwide; suborder Stylopidia is cosmopolitan (2 families of 2 spp. each are restricted to the Neotropical and Oriental regions, respectively), Mengenillidia is an Old World group(6), the recently discovered monotypic Bahiaxenidae is a "living fossil" from Brazil(4)
Food
obligate parasites of insects (hosts include members of 7 orders and 34 families)(6)
Life Cycle
Apart from the adult males, the only free-living stages are the viviparous 1st instar host-seeking larvae(6); the larvae hatch as free agents from eggs laid on flowers. When a suitable host visits the flower, the first stage larvae attach themselves to it and become parasitic.(7)
Internet References
Fact sheets from Virginia Tech(8) and Discover Life