Bees, Wasps, Ants and Sawflies

(Order: Hymenoptera)

Large order, with 69 families and almost 12,000 species in Australia. Of these all but six families and around 200 species belong to the ‘true’ bees, wasps and ants of the suborder Apocrita. The abdomen is divided into two sections with the second segment reduced to form a ‘waist’ or petiole. Two pairs of membranous wings, the forewings longer than the hindwings, large compound eyes and mandibulate mouthparts. Sawflies (suborder Symphyta), the common name given from the saw-like ovipositor of the female, used to cut into the leaf or stem of a host plant, to lay her eggs, lack the obvious narrow ‘waist’ between thorax and abdomen. Sawflies also have more complex wings.

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