Order – Hymenoptera


Order – Hymenoptera

Order – Hymenoptera (Hymen = wedding / membranous pteron = wing)
E.g. Wasps, Mustard saw fly, Ants, Honey bees etc.

Economic Importance:

Red ants and Mustard saw fly are crop pests. Many insects are beneficial parasitoids, predators or pollinators.


1.  Insects with two pairs of membranous wings, often with reduced venation.
2. Hind wings smaller than fore wings and interlocked with the latter by means of hooklets (Hamuli).
3. Mouth parts primarily adopted for biting and often for lapping or sucking also.
4. Abdomen usually basally constricted and its first segment fused with the metathorax.
5. Ovipositor always present and modified for sawing / piercing / singing.
6. Larvae generally apodous, rarely Eruciform with locomotory appendages.
7. Pupae adecticous, exarate (rarely obtect) and a cocoon generally present.
8. Metamorphosis complete.

The order Hymenoptera is divided into two sub-orders viz. Symphyta and Apocrita.

Comparative Characters of the two Sub-orders are as Follows:


  1. Abdomen broadly attached to the thorax with no marked constriction between 1st and 2nd abdominal segments.
  2. Fore tibia with 2 spurs.
  3. Larva with thoracic and generally abdominal legs e.g. Mustard saw fly.


  1. Abdomen deeply constricted between 1st (Propodeum) & 2nd abdominal segment.
  2. Fore tibia with one spur (except Caraphronoidae).
  3. Larva with apodous e.g. Honey bee.

Important Families

1. Sub-order: Symphyta

Tenthredinidae e.g. Mustard saw fly.

2. Sub-order: Apocrita

1. Apidae                    e.g. Honey bee
2. Vespidae                 e.g. Wasps
3. Formicidae              e.g. Ants
4. Ichneumonidae       e.g. Ichneumon flies
5. Braconidae              e.g. Braconid parasites.
6. Chalcididae             e.g. Chalcid parasites
7. Trichogrammatidae    e.g. Trichogrammatid parasite
8. Ageonidae                     e.g. Fig insect

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