Information about: Wasp

Index | Wasp

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Wasp. The wasps belong to the Hymenoptera, the highest order of insects, and include two superfamilies, the Sphecina or digger wasps, and the Vespina or true wasps. These well-known insects show some variation in form: sometimes the thorax and the abdomen are connected by a slender thread; in other forms these parts of the body merge into one another. The social wasps, like the hornet, or yellow jacket, are the best known. They build nests of paper attached to bushes, trees, roofs, and eaves of buildings. The paper is manufactured from wood fiber obtained from posts and unpainted boards. This is chewed in the jaws and united into sheets, often of considerable extent. The nests are often top-shaped or balloon-shaped, with horizontal layers of cells inside resembling honeycomb, all inclosed in a spherical paper envelope with a hole at the bottom for entrance and exit. These nests are sometimes eighteen inches long and more than a foot in diameter. The wasps that build these nests attack intruders savagely and their sting is extremely painful. The colonies include three forms, males, females, and workers. The males and workers die on the arrival of cold weather, but the females live over the winter in sheltered places, and start a new colony in the spring. The workers only have stings. The solitary wasps form another division of these insects which includes miners, mud daubers, and carpenters. The mason wasps, or mud daubers, are the most familiar, as their mud nests are commonly seen on beams and walls. The carpenters cut tubular nests in wood and divide them by mud partitions. The miners dig tunnels in the earth. Wasps are endowed with a considerable degree of intelligence.