Kingdom: Animalia 

  Phylum : Arthropoda 

    Class: Insecta (Endopterygota) 

      Sub-class : Pterygota 



Hymenoptera means membrane wings. 

One of the largest insect order. 

Size range – 0.21nm(0.008inch)-5cm(2inch) in length. 

Usually 4 membranous wings

  • Forewing and hindwing are held together by small hook. 
  • Hind pair smaller than front pair

Complete metamorphosis (Holometabolous).

Mouthparts modified for chewing and sucking

In some form especially bees, certain Mouthparts (labium and maxillae) form a structure for sucking liquid food. 

Antennae usually with 10 or more segment. 

Larvae usually maggot like(i.e. Leg less) 

Large compound eyes, usually 3 simple eyes(ocelli) present. 

Females typically have a special ovipositor for inserting eggs into host or places that are otherwise inaccessible.

Most have constriction between the first 2 segment of the abdomen which is known as a wasp waist. 

Worldwide there are over 100,000 species included in the Hymenoptera. 

In Australia, there are about 1275 ant, 10,000 wasp, 2000 bee and 176 sawfly species.


Found in all terrestrial habitat throughout Australia. 

May occur in soil, leaf litter and range of vegetation types especially flowers. 

Life Cycle

Some female produce young one without mating, while other can store sperms and spread out their egg laying to coincide with available food. 

Most species lay their egg to the host plant or paralysed food sources they have gathered into specially constructed nest. 

The Larvae will moult several times before they pupate.

Development may range from a few weeks for some parasitoid to much longer in social species. 

Feeding Habit

Feed on a wide range of foods depending on the species. 

Adult wasp mostly feed on nectar and honeydew. 

Some species are predator or parasites and spend their time searching out invertebrate hosts to lay their eggs on. 

Some are predator, scavenger, omnivores, seedeaters, fungus feeders or honeydew feeders

Suborder of hymenoptera :

1)  Symphyta(sawflies and horntails) 

2)Apocrita(ants, bees and wasps) 

Symphyta :(sawflies)

Most primitive Hymenoptera 

Have a broad junction between thorax and abdomen. 

Body has no waist. 

Paraphyletic group 

Females have a saw-like egg laying device for cutting slits in plants into which eggs are laid. 

Larvae are caterpillar-like and feed on outside and inside of plant tissue.

There are one or two parasitic families

lack of constriction at the base of the abdomen

 fly-like appearance and more extensive wing venation. 

They are often confused with lepidopteron larvae but it include–six or more pair of abdominal prolegs(which lack chrochet ), one lateral ocellus on each side of head. 

Apocrita :(wasps,bees,ants)

The body has a distinct waist. 

The first segment of the abdomen is incorporated into the thorax. A narrow region called the petiole joins this to the rest of the abdomen, called the gaster.

Characterized by Larvae that feed on other Arthropods. 

The larvae are maggotlike.

Have narrow junction between thorax and abdomen. 

Contain largest no. of species. 

Node is usually present. 

Further divided into:- Terebrantia(parasitica) which use their ovipositor for egg laying and the Aculeata, which have the ovipositor modified as a sting.