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Hymenoptera of the world (PDF)



KINGDOM : Animalia

PHYLUM : Arthropoda

SUBPHYLUM : Hexapoda

CLASS : Insecta

ORDER : Hymenoptera

FAMILY : Scoliidae

TRIBE : Scoliini

GENUS : Megascolia

SPECIES : M. Azurea


Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) As Biological Control Agents Of Pests (PDF)


Megascolia is a genus of large solitary wasps from the family Scoliidae, the species classified under Megascolia include some of the world's largest wasps. They are parasitoids of large Scarabeid beetles such as the European rhinoceros beetle Oryctes nasicornis and Atlas beetle Chalcosoma atlas.

A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. This means that wasps are paraphyletic with respect to bees and ants, and that all three groups are descended from a common ancestor; the Apocrita form a clade.

The most commonly known wasps such as yellow jackets and hornets are in the family Vespidae and are eusocial, living together in a nest with an egg-laying queen and non-reproducing workers. Eusociality is favoured by the unusual haplodiploid system of sex determination in Hymenoptera, as it makes sisters exceptionally closely related to each other. However, the majority of wasp species are solitary, with each adult female living and breeding independently. Many of the solitary wasps are parasitoidal, meaning that they raise their young by laying eggs on or in the larvae of other insects. The wasp larvae eat the host larvae, eventually killing them. Solitary wasps parasitize almost every pest insect, making wasps valuable in horticulture for biological pest control of species such as whitefly in tomatoes and other crops.

Wasps first appeared in the fossil record in the Jurassic, and diversified into many surviving superfamilies by the Cretaceous. They are a successful and diverse group of insects with tens of thousands of described species; wasps have spread to all parts of the world except for the polar regions. The largest social wasp is the Asian giant hornet, at up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length; among the largest solitary wasps is the giant scoliid of Indonesia, Megascolia procer. The smallest wasps are solitary chalcid wasps in the family Trichogrammatidae, some of which are just 0.2 millimetres (0.008 in) in length.

Wasps play many ecological roles. Some are predators, whether to feed themselves or to provision their nests. Many, notably the cuckoo wasps, are kleptoparasites, laying eggs in the nests of other wasps. With their powerful stings and conspicuous warning coloration, often in black and yellow, wasps are frequent models for Batesian mimicry by non-stinging insects, and are themselves involved in mutually beneficial Mullerian mimicry of other distasteful insects including bees and other wasps.

The largest social wasp is the Asian giant hornet, at up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length. The tarantula hawk wasp is a similar size and can overpower a spider many times its own weight, and move it to its burrow, with a sting that is excruciatingly painful to humans. The solitary giant scoliid, Megascolia procer, with a wingspan of 11.5 cm, has subspecies in Sumatra and Java; it is a parasitoid of the scarabeid Atlas beetle Chalcosoma atlas.

The vast majority of wasp species are solitary insects. Having mated, the adult female forages alone and if it builds a nest, does so for the benefit of its own offspring. Some solitary wasps nest in small groups alongside others of their species, but each is involved in caring for its own offspring (except for such actions as stealing other wasp's prey or laying in other wasp's nests). There are some species of solitary wasp that build communal nests, each insect having its own cell and providing food for its own offspring, but these wasps do not adopt the division of labour and the complex behavioural patterns adopted by eusocial species.

While the vast majority of wasps play no role in pollination, a few species can effectively transport pollen and are therefore pollinators of several plant species. Since wasps generally do not have a fur-like covering of soft hairs as bees do, pollen does not stick to them well. Pollen wasps in the family Masarinae gather nectar and pollen in a crop inside their bodies, rather than on body hairs like bees, and pollinate flowers of Penstemon and the water leaf family, Hydrophyllaceae.

With its powerful sting and familiar appearance, the wasp has given its name to many ships, aircraft and military vehicles. Nine ships and one shore establishment of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Wasp, the first an 8-gun sloop launched in 1749. Eleven ships of the United States Navy have similarly borne the name USS Wasp, the first a merchant schooner acquired by the Continental Navy in 1775. In the Second World War, a German self-propelled howitzer was named Wespe, while the British developed the Wasp flamethrower from the Bren Gun Carrier. In aerospace, the Westland Wasp was a military helicopter developed in England and used by the Royal Navy and other navies; it first flew in 1958. The AeroVironment Wasp III is a Miniature UAV developed for United States Air Force special operations.