Wasps: types of insects and their features
Wasps are fairly unique insects, ranging from the way in which they feed and breed, to the composition of their inherent poison, as well as the possibilities of self-defense. First of all, it is worth noting the fact that all wasps (species) belong to the order of hymenoptera, along with ants, bees, bumblebees and other known insects.
Wasps - grandparents
During the long-term study of these insects, it was determined that a sufficiently large number of known insects today are completely independent groups that develop in parallel, while another group, which, in particular, includes ants and bees, are direct descendants of ancient . In the process of evolution, they had the opportunity to feed, as well as feed their own offspring with the help of nectar of flowers, or the wings were completely lost, as a result of which their lifestyle became woody or terrestrial.Accordingly, in this case, the wasps (the species of their offspring) were divided into ants and bees.
Of course, few know this, but in fact a sufficiently large number of primitive species of ants are extremely similar to digging predatory wasps. In particular, this refers to the Australian bulldog ants, which in their way of life are very similar to the wingless wasps, and also have a sting filled with strong poison.
How do they live?
Wasps (wasp species) are such insects, among which collective species are almost equally represented as well as living alone. It is for this reason that they represent rather inconvenient objects from the point of view of studying the transition of animals from a completely independent existence initially to standard colonial life, and over time to social interaction, including the caste structure of the family.
What are they like?
To date, there has not yet been a consensus on how to implement an unambiguous and sustainable classification of wasps. At the moment, they are divided into several groups and families, representatives of which, depending on the research, can move between groups.At the first level of this classification, wasps (species) are divided into public and separately living. The latter include the following:
The public ones include the only family - the real wasps, but they are also complemented by sand species of wasps.
What is the difference?
As a good example of insects living in the family, it is worthwhile to single out the paper wasps, with which modern gardeners are the most frequent. In addition, it is worth noting the fact that among the known social insects there is such a type of real wasps, like hornets.
How is the hornet different from wasp?
In fact, few people know that the only difference that has a hornet and different types of wasps is its size. If the length of the paper wasp is no more than 3 cm, then the hornet in length reaches 3.5 cm and more. In addition, a prominent feature of the hornets is a pronounced wide neck, which is especially clearly seen when viewed under a magnifying glass, as well as the presence of characteristic red spots in areas in which black areas are found in paper wasps.It must be said that the hornets are quite peaceful in relation to man and practically do not bite him compared to wasps.
The wasps belong to the suborder of the stalked-winged hymenoptera, and only by looking at the peculiarities of the internal structure of the wasp, one can understand why this unit got its name. Between the belly and the breast of this insect there is a rather narrow “waist”, and some wasps (species whose photos you can see above) generally have an almost imperceptible “stalk” instead of a waist.
Thanks to this feature, wasps are able to almost double their own body, and also have the opportunity to sting the victim at any desired angle. Due to this, they can win the fight even with some of those insects that are much larger than them in size.
The body of the wasp is divided into three prominent segments - the abdomen, chest and head, while it is worth noting that the body is covered with a fairly durable chitinous skeleton. The head is quite mobile, and is equipped with two antennae, which are assigned a sufficiently large number of different functions,including trapping air and odor fluctuations, as well as evaluating the taste of liquid food, or even measuring the length of a cell in nests.
Each wasp has powerful enough jaws, called “mandibles”. They are used to feed a variety of plant foods, and to kill caught prey. For example, in the predominant majority of cases, hornets that attack even large insects like praying mantis and cockroaches practically do not use the sting, but can use just strong jaws, crushing the chitinous integument of their prey.
The wasp moves fast enough, but at the same time it has far from the highest speed among insects, as a result of which even well-armed predators end up being often victims themselves. In particular, they feed on dragonflies and predatory fly-ktyri.
If we talk about color, then against the background of other insects wasps (species, which photos you saw above), differ in a wide variety. Thus, some species differ in bright enough contrasting yellow or black stripes, and have such an appearance that it is almost impossible to recognize them.Often they are called wasp bees. The other types can differ in a completely different color, ranging from rich black to violet or turquoise. In any case, these insects have a fairly recognizable body color, as a result of which they almost never fall victim to random attacks, simply scaring off all sorts of birds or mammals.
It is worth noting that it was the wasps that have the maximum possible number of insect imitators trying to copy their appearance and color in order to protect themselves from predators. As the most famous example, it is worth mentioning a hornet fly, which is very much like a wasp. Various mammals and birds that know that the insect with a yellow-black color has a dangerous sting generally present, prefer not to attack, while in fact such a fly is absolutely harmless.
It is noteworthy that the body of wasps for the most part does not have such a large number of hairs as in the case of bumblebees or bees, because the latter groups are standard pollinators, as a result, they need hairs for more efficient nectar collection. Some species of wasps do not have wings at all.Such wasps, whose species and characteristics differ from other species, parasitize in the nests of ordinary paper wasps, while the absence of wings does not deprive them of a sufficiently strong poison and powerful sting.
How dangerous are they?
Despite the fact that a large number of wasps work well with their jaws, having the ability to attack insects or effectively defend themselves against enemies, their main weapon is the sting. During the multi-millionth evolution, Hymenoptera have acquired a much harder and stronger egg-deposit, which combined with poisonous glands and eventually became one of the most advanced killing tools among insects. Unlike most bees, a wasp is an insect whose species can sting a person several times in a row, because the sting does not have chipping and it freely pulls it out of soft skin. In theory, the number of bites is limited solely by the stock of poison, but in most cases a single bite is enough to drive a large enemy.
Wasp species in Russia are absolutely safe for humans, and the only thing to fear is a little pain and allergic reactions.