Identification

As might be expected with such a large insect order, identification of hymenopteran species, but also genera and even families, is not without its difficulties. Even in parts of the world where the insect fauna is quite well known, such as Europe and North America, there will be many groups for which there are no satisfactory identification keys. In less well known parts of the world, almost any reasonably sized sample will contain numerous undescribed species and within some families even genera. The presence of so many unclassified hymenopterans reflects a combination of innate taxonomic difficulties such as the insects' small size, the large number of similar species, and often a great deal of superficial convergence. In addition, because the order, with few exceptions, has not attracted a great deal of amateur attention, relatively little work has been done on it. Recent years have, however, seen vast improvements to the situation. Several well-illustrated keys to all families have been published, as well as several major works on the more popular aculeates. Particularly useful works are by Gauld and Bolton and Goulet and Huber.

See Also the Following Articles

Ants • Apis Species • Division of Labor • Sex Determination • Sociality • Venom • Wasps

Further Reading

Askew, R. R. (1971). "Parasitic Insects." Heinemann Educational, London. Askew, R. R. (1984). The biology of gall wasps. In "Biology of Gall Insects"

(T. N. Ananthakrishnan, ed.), pp. 223—271. Edward Arnold, London. Cook, J. M. (1993). Sex determination in the Hymenoptera—A review of models and evidence. Heredity 71, 421—435. Gauld, I. D., and Bolton, B. (1988). "The Hymenoptera." Oxford

University Press, Oxford, U.K. Godfray, H. C. J. (1993) "Parasitoids: Behavioral and Evolutionary

Ecology." Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Goulet, H., and Huber, J. T. (eds.). (1993). "Hymenoptera of the World: An Identification Guide to Families." Agriculture Canada.

Greathead, D. J. (1986). Parasitoids in classical biological control. In "Insect Parasitoids." (J. Waage, and D. Greathead, eds.). Academic Press, London. Holldobler, B., and Wilson, E. O. (1990). "The Ants." Belknap Press of

Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. O'Toole, C., and Raw, A. (1991). "Bees of the World." Blandford, London. Quicke, D. L. J. (1997). "Parasitic Wasps." Chapman & Hall, London. Rasnitsyn, A. P., and Quicke, D. L. J. (eds.) (2002). "The History of

Insects." Kluwer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands. Ronquist, F., Rasnitsyn, A. P., Roy, A., Eriksson, K., and Lindgren, M. (1999). Phylogeny of the Hymenoptera: A cladistic reanalysis of Rasnitsyn's (1988) data. Zool. Scripta 28, 13-50. Thompson, G. H. (1960). "The Alder Woodwasp and Its Insect Enemies." Film rereleased as video by World Educational Films, http://www.worldeducationalfilms.com. Vilhelmsen, L. (2001). Phylogeny and classification of the extant basal lineages of the Hymenoptera (Insecta). Zool. J. Linnaean Soc. (Lond.) 131, 393-442.

Wilson, E. O. (1971) "The Insect Societies." Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

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