(Greek, hymen = membrane; pteron = wing)
Common Names: sawflies, wasps, bees, ants
Distribution: Cosmopolitan
Suborders: Symphyta and Apocrita

Most Hymenoptera are easily recognised as belonging to the order because of their "wasp waists". The constricted waist (actually a constriction in the front part of the abdomen) characterizes ants, wasps, parasitic and bees in the suborder Apocrita. They vary from minute parasitoids of other insect eggs up to huge wasps and bees, but all have the wasp waist. There is one other suborder of Hymenoptera, the Symphyta, in which the wasp waist is absent. Symphyta, including the sawflies and  wood wasps shown here are generally shining, hard bodied insects with transparent wings.

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