Well-known in Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, the distinct black-orange-black color pattern has never been fully documented in Hymenoptera—until now. A study of more than 1 million wasp, bee, and other hymenopteran specimens finds a wide range of variations of the pattern present in 23 families within the order Hymenoptera.
The fat lower legs that dangle below flying wasps in the family Gasteruptiidae turn out to be filled with insect fat body, and they may play key roles in flight dynamics, detecting vibrations from prey, and even detoxification.
When Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., joined Penn State University's entomology extension program in 2017, it wasn't long before he had a mystery on his hands: A wasp specimen from an infestation of a residence that appeared to be of a genus not previously known to invade homes in North America.
By Michael Boppré, Ph.D. A yellow-black insect at the coffee table—”Help, a wasp!” But, often, it is just an innocent hover fly, unable to sting. It is hard for us […]