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common name for insectsinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
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 of several families of the order Hymenoptera, which also includes the antsant,
any of the 2,500 insect species constituting the family Formicidae of the order Hymenoptera, to which the bee and the wasp also belong. Like most members of the order, ants have a "wasp waist," that is, the front part of the abdomen forms a narrow stalk, called the waist,
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, waspswasp,
name applied to many winged insects of the order Hymenoptera, which also includes ants and bees. Most wasps are carnivorous, feeding on insects, grubs, or spiders. They have biting mouthparts, and the females have stings with which they paralyze their prey.
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, and beesbee,
name for flying insects of the superfamily Apoidea, in the same order as the ants and the wasps. Bees are characterized by their enlarged hind feet, typically equipped with pollen baskets of stiff hairs for gathering pollen.
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. Sawflies are named for the two sawtoothed blades of the female's ovipositor that are used for slitting leaves or stems in order to deposit the eggs. The insects have two pairs of membranous wings and chewing mouthparts. Both the sawfly and the closely related horntail, whose burrowing larvae are the hosts of the ichneumon flyichneumon fly
, common name for a family of insects, related to the wasps, whose larvae are parasitic on many other insects. Over 3,000 species of ichneumon flies, also known as ichneumon wasps, are found throughout the United States except in the Southwest.
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, lack the characteristic constricted abdomen of other hymenopterans. Sawfly larvae resemble caterpillars; some are leaf and stem borers, many feed on the surface of foliage, and others produce gallsgall,
abnormal growth, or hypertrophy, of plant tissue produced by chemical or mechanical (e.g., the rubbing together of two branches) irritants or hormones. Chemical irritants are released by parasitic fungi, bacteria, nematode worms, gall insects, and mites.
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. Various species are destructive to larch, spruce, broadleaved fruit and shade trees, shrubs, and grasses. Most species have a single generation a year; they pass the winter either as larvae or as pupae in a cocoon or in some protected place. Sawflies are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Hymenoptera.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



any insect of the families Tenthredinidae (typical sawflies), Pamphiliidae (web-spinning and leaf-rolling sawflies), and Cephidae (stem sawflies) of the suborder Symphyta of the order Hymenoptera. Of the more than 5,000 species, approximately 1,500 are found in the USSR, predominantly in the forest zone. The larvae and the majority of adults are herbivorous; some adult sawflies are predators.

Female sawflies usually deposit the eggs singly in the soft tissues of plants, in which they have made a slit with their serrate ovipositors. Some Pamphiliidae deposit their eggs in groups on the needles of conifers. The larvae of Tenthredinidae live on the ground. They superficially resemble the caterpillars of butterflies but have a greater number of prolegs (six to eight pairs). The larvae of Pamphiliidae live in groups, each of which collectively builds a protective silk nest. They have no abdominal prolegs, but the thoracic legs are well developed. Cephidae develop hidden in the stems of cereals or in the young shoots of trees and shrubs. The larvae are colorless and have underdeveloped thoracic legs. Most species of sawflies pupate in the soil.

All sawflies damage plants. The most destructive are the wheat stem sawfly (Cephus,) which damages cereals; Acantholyda stellata, A. erythrocephala, and Diprion pini, which damage the pine tree; and Calima limacina and Pterodinea ribesii, which damage fruit and berry crops.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.