wasp


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wasp,

name applied to many winged 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 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. The sting can be used repeatedly. The thorax of a wasp is attached to the abdomen by a narrow stalk (hence the term "wasp-waisted"). Some wasps are solid black or dark blue, but most have red, orange, or yellow wings or markings. Stripes are common. The great majority of the 20,000 species are solitary, but one family (the Vespidae) includes both social forms (the paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets) and solitary forms (e.g., the potter wasps).

Social Wasps

In social wasp colonies there are usually three castes: the egg-laying queens (one or more per colony), the workers, or sexually undeveloped females, and the drones, or males. Social wasps build nests of a coarse, papery material, prepared by masticating wood fiber. The eggs are deposited in the compartments, or cells, of the nest, where they develop into larvae and then pupae, emerging as adults. Adult social wasps feed chiefly on nectar and plant sap but feed the larvae with masticated animal food. In temperate regions a colony lasts a single season, the drones and workers dying in the fall. The mated queens take shelter during the winter and in spring lay eggs and start new colonies. In the tropics colonies continue indefinitely, dividing when they grow very large. The paper wasps (Polistes), of nearly worldwide distribution, usually hang their nests, consisting of a single comb (layer of cells), from eaves, branches, or other shelters. The true hornets (Vespa) of Eurasia and their close relatives the yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps of Vespula and Dolichovespula, found in the Northern Hemisphere, build a large, round nest of many combs, covered with a paper sheath. In some species, primarily in the genus Vespula, the nest is built underground.

Solitary Wasps

Among the solitary wasps, each species usually favors a particular type of prey. The female seals a single egg in a nest provided with paralyzed prey on which the developing larva feeds. In many species the nest is in a burrow or small hole dug by the female. The jug-shaped nests of the potter, or mason, wasps (Eumenes and other genera) of Europe and North America are made of mud and fastened to plants. Often seen under bridges and eaves are the nests of the organ pipe mud dauber (Trypoxylon politum), consisting of long, narrow, adjacent cells of mud. Other solitary wasps are the tarantula hawks (Pepsis and Hemipepsis species) and cicada killers (Sphecius) of the SW United States, which hunt prey much larger than themselves.

Parasitic Wasps

Some wasps are parasitic. The cuckoo wasps (family Chrysididae), of worldwide distribution, are brilliantly colored wasps that lay their eggs in other wasps' nests. The ichneumon fliesichneumon 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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 are wasps that lay their eggs in the larvae of other insects. The gall wasps (see gallgall,
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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) lay eggs in plant tissues. Wasps that prey on harmful insects have been introduced in various regions to control these pests.

Classification

Wasps 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. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

wasp

[wäsp]
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for members of 67 families of the order Hymenoptera; all are important as parasites or predators of injurious pests.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

wasp

1. any social hymenopterous insect of the family Vespidae, esp Vespula vulgaris (common wasp), typically having a black-and-yellow body and an ovipositor specialized for stinging
2. any of various solitary hymenopterans, such as the digger wasp and gall wasp
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

WASP

(Wireless ASP) An application provider that hosts wireless applications over the Web. There are WASPs that offer ready-made applications for particular industries, while others, such as Air2Web, provide a platform that serves as a gateway between the wireless application and the air interfaces. The latter can be hosted by the provider or the customer. See Air2Web.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Association has published an online 'Worried About Wasps' guide, with a short video, to help prevent problems with the pests.
The warm summer has led to a rise in wasp numbers, according to pest controllers, while the heat has caused fruit - the wasp's favourite sugary meal - to ripen much faster than usual.
If wasps are damaging your fruit, reduce the risk by enclosing some of the fruit trusses in bags made from muslin or nylon tights.
Mr Alexander who wears protective clothing when he tackles wasp nests, warned homeowners about the risks of carrying out the jobs themselves.
"A main jobs is searching for soft-bodied invertebrates to feed the developing larvae, bizarrely, adult wasps cannot digest the food they catch because their gut is so constricted by their thin 'wasp waists'.
A spokeswoman said: "To satisfy any customer demand for wasp treatment, we have taken on an additional member of staff."
Discovered in the western Amazonia, the parasitoid wasp likes to look for spiders in their nests.
The ministry said wasps, centipedes, earthworms, red ants, snakes and plants like the dictamnus root, rhododendron and monkshood are poisonous and potentially fatal when mixed with soju.