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Order Hymenoptera


The Hymenoptera usually have four wings but some, such as workers ants, are wingless. If wings are present, they have few cross veins, and the hind pair is usually shorter than the front pair. Most Hymenoptera have chewing mouthparts, but in the bees and wasps, the lower lip is prolonged into a tongue. All Hymenoptera except the sawflies have the abdomen constricted or "pinched in" where it joins the thorax. Metamorphosis is complete, the life stages being the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Most adult Hymenoptera frequent flowers. The larvae of ants, bees and wasps are found in the nest, but those of sawflies feed on plants.

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Family: Apidae

Bombus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer) - Bumble Bee

Habitat: They nest in old nests of field mice, holes in the ground, stumps and similar places.

Family: Vespidae

Polistes exclamans (Vierick) - Common Paper Nest Wasp

Habitat: Their nests hang from a single support, with a single-layer comb which is not enclosed. They build their nests in protected locations.

Family: Formicidae

Pogonomyrmex occidentalis (Cresson)

Size: 5/16" (8 mm)

Habitat: These ants build large, low sand mounds in fields.

**most of the images included in these pages are from the 'Insects in Kansas' Book. They are freely available for student and noncommercial use (according to their copyright agreement with each photographer) at the PDIS image site, http://www.pdis.org/default.aspx

For additional information on Hymenoptera, please check out the following websites: