Habit, Habitat,Description, Biology and Distribution of Hymenoptera Insects By Dinesh Dalvaniya
Habit, Habitat, Description, Biology and Distribution of Hymenoptera InsectsDinesh DalvaniyaDept: AgriculturalEntomologyMob No:09574031169Email Id:firstname.lastname@example.org
Habit & Habitat:colony, most of the 60,000 bees are female led by a single queen. Physicallylarger than the other bees, the queen lays up to 1,500 eggs in one day and asmany as one million eggs in her relatively short life span of one to five years.She can defend herself, but otherwise is reliant on the colony to house, feed,and clean her and her brood . Worker bees make up the largest population inthe colony, and their moniker is well-earned. All females, these busy bees buildand maintain the nest, construct the hexagonal cells of the comb by secretingwax from glands in their abdomens, care for the brood laid by the queen,defend the colony, and are responsible for venturing from the nest to gatherpollen, nectar, and water. Drones, the only male honey bees, are unable todefend or feed themselves and exist only to mate with the queen and die.
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of several species ofbees that produce honey. Honey bees live in colonies, orhives, of 50,000 bees on average. A honey bee colonyconsists of a queen, drones, and workers. All play roles inthe survival of the community. Classification: Kingdom – Animal Phylum – Arthropoda Class - Insecta Order – Hymenoptera Family – Apidae Genus – Apis Species – mellifera
► Habitat:► Honey bees require an ample supply of flowers in their habitat, since this is their food source. They also need suitable places to build hives. In cooler temperate climates, the hive site must be large enough for the bees and for storage of honey to feed on during the winter Researchers believe that the original habitats of the honey bee are tropical climates and heavily forested areas. Honey bees can thrive in natural or domesticated environments, though they prefer to live in gardens, woodlands, orchards, meadows and other areas where flowering plants are abundant. Within their natural habitat, honey bees build nests inside tree cavities and under edges if objects to hide themselves from predators.
► Many people believe that honey bees originated in Africa and spread to Northern Europe, Eastern India, China and the Americas. However, because honey bees have been domesticated to produce honey for human consumption, they are now found all over the world in different habitats.► Honey bees in temperate climates, such as European honey bees, store larger amounts of honey than other subspecies, as they need to maintain a certain temperature inside the nest to survive during winter. Bees living in these climates adapt well to their environment only when workers have created a large nest with well-insulated interiors. To collect enough honey for the next winter, foragers swarm early in the spring.
► Because honey bees in tropical habitats, such as African honey bees, do not experience long weeks of cold weather, they do not need to build large and well-insulated nests, produce thousands of workers or store large amounts of honey. For a honey bee in a tropical habitat, swarming depends largely on the abundance of food sources, rather than seasonal factors. However, regardless of living in tropical or temperate climates, honey bees maintain their hives with a constant temperature of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.► During winter, honey bees consume honey and use their metabolic heat to provide warmth to all individuals of a colony. On the contrary, honey bees use the liquid from stored nectar as an evaporative coolant during warmer seasons. These methods ensure that seasonal changes do not affect their interior habitats.
Description:► As many as 29 subspecies of Apis mellifera exist. The Italian honey bee, Apis mellifera ligustica, is most often kept by beekeepers in the western hemisphere. Italian honey bees are described as light or golden in color. Their abdomens are striped yellow and brown. Hairy heads make their large compound eyes appear ringed with hair. The honey bee is about 12 mm (1/2 inch) long and usually yellow, with 3 or 5 dark brown abdominal bands. They carry two pairs of wings and lack the constricted abdomen (wasp waist) of the wasp and hornet. Honey bees can sting, but are much less aggressive than wasps and hornets. Honey bees are somewhat variable in color but are some shade of black, brown or brown intermixed with yellow.
► They have dense hairs on the pronotum and sparser hair on the abdomen. Microscopically, at least some of the body hairs of bees (Apoidea) are branched (pumose). The abdomen often appears banded. Larvae are legless grubs, white in color.► Honey bees are the only bee in the genus Apis in Texas. Honey bees have several varieties or races and have been bred for honey production, temperament and resistance to disease. These varieties may be recognized to some extent by color and size. However, cross breeding may take place in the wild, so queens from commercial breeders should always be purchased to re- queen colonies. Africanized honey bees or "killer bees" can not easily be differentiated from commercial varieties and require measuring several bees from a colony and comparing measurements. There are several other bees including bumblebees and leaf cutting bees that also collect pollen and nectar. There is a species of stingless wasp that occurs in South Texas that produces honey much like bees.
Biology► Honey bees undergo complete metamorphosis:► Egg – The queen bee lays the eggs. She is mother to all or nearly all members of the colony. Larva – The worker bees care for the larvae, feeding and cleaning them. Pupa – After molting several times, the larvae will cocoon inside the cells of the hive. Adult – Male adults are always drones; females may be workers or queens. For the first 3 to 10 days of their adult lives, all females are nurses that care for the young. Stages of development of the dronepupae.
► Each egg is laid in one of the hexagonal wax cells and hatches into a tiny, white, legless larva. The larva feeds on substances deposited in the cell by the workers; it grows, pupates in the cell, hatches as an adult bee and finally emerges from the cell into the hive. The eggs hatch after three to four days and by nine days are fully grown and ready to pupate. The workers put a capping over the cells at this time. Ten or eleven days later the capping is bitten away and the adult emerges. The times given above vary with changes of temperature and according to whether the bee is becoming a drone, worker or queen.► Drones. The drones, who live for about four to five weeks and do not work inside the hive, are fed by the workers or help themselves from the store of pollen and nectar in the combs. Their function is to fertilize a new queen. In the autumn, or when conditions are poor, they are turned out of the hive where, unable to find food for themselves, they soon die.
► Workers. The workers are female bees whose reproductive organs do not function. Among many other tasks they collect food from outside the hive and store it, make the wax cells and feed the developing larvae.► Colony life► Unlike a bumble bee colony or a paper wasp colony, the life of a honey bee colony isperennial. There are three castes of honey bees: queens, which produce eggs; dronesor males, which mate with new queens and have no stinger; and workers, which are all non-reproducing females. The queen lays eggs singly in cells of the comb. Larvaehatch from eggs in three to four days. They are then fed by worker bees and develop through several stages in the cells. Cells are capped by worker bees when the larvapupates. Queens and drones are larger than workers and so require larger cells to develop. A colony may typically consist of tens of thousands of individuals.
► While some colonies live in hives provided by humans, so-called "wild" colonies (although all honey bees remain wild, even when cultivated and managed by humans) typically prefer a nest site that is clean, dry, protected from the weather, about 20 liters in volume with a 4 to 6 cm² entrance about 3 m above the ground, and preferably facing south or south-east (in the northern hemisphere) or north or north-east (in the southern hemisphere). Honey bee swarm pitched on a high limb
►A typical small hive contains perhaps 20,000 bees and these are divided into three types: Queen, Drone, and Worker. The chart below compares these types:
Distribution of honey beesBees and flowering plants have evolved during a period of 130 million yearsto become increasingly dependent upon one another. Today there are20,000-30,000 species of bees of which around 16,000 have beenscientifically described. Ancestors of honey bees emerged 40 million yearsago, with a modern type of open nesting species appearing in south east Asiaaround 10 million years ago. Subsequently species that nested inside cavitiesappeared, eventually spreading throughout tropical and temperate Asia andinto Europe. These European bees became isolated from the Asian species asdesert developed in the Middle East, and evolved into the species that weknow today as Apis mellifera, with an indigenous distribution stretching fromthe Arctic Circle to South Africa, and with eastern limits of the UralMountains in the north and the central deserts of Afghanistan in the south.The cavity-nesting bees in Asia evolved into Apis cerana and the several othercavity nesting species of Apis known today. The open nesting species gaverise to the several types of open nesting species existing today. Thus, Asiahas a diversity of Apis species, while Europe and Africa have just onespecies.
Ants:► Habits► Ants typically make their nests in or on the ground. The soil excavated to make the nest may be piled up around the opening to the nest, forming a mound or crater. The nest is typically composed of several long tunnels that lead to chambers. The chambers serve as storage areas for food and as nurseries for the young.► Some ants live in the wood of trees or rotten logs. The workers of one tree-dwelling species make nests by weaving leaves together with silky threads secreted by their larvae. Some ants have well-defined territories and build permanent nests. Others move from one site to another, building a new nest each time. Some ants share their nests with ants of a different species and sometimes with other kinds of insects, or with spiders. A number of ants make their nests in human dwellings, particularly in wood siding or in the foundation
► Food► Some species of ants eat live insects while others feed only on decaying animal matter. Others cultivate and eat fungi. Some ants gather seeds and grain for food. Several ant species tend "herds" of aphids and scale insects to obtain the sugary liquid, called honeydew, that they excrete.► What Else Do Ants Eat?► Ants eat fruit, flowers, and seeds, while others eat everything in their path, including small animals.► Ants have special mouthparts for grabbing and eating food. First come the mandibles, which are jaws that move from side to side. Ants use their mandibles to hold food, carry their young, and fight enemies. Behind the mandibles are the maxillae (mak SIHL ee), which are used for chewing. But ants do not swallow the food right away. First the food passes to a pouch behind the mouth. There, the liquid is squeezed out of the food. Ants swallow the liquid and spit out the leftover food pellet.
► Ants have two kinds of stomachs—a stomach and a crop. Food an ant eats for itself goes to the stomach. Food it shares with others is stored in the crop. The ant spits up this food to feed other ants and larvae. Hungry ants may stroke each other or tap antennae to ask for food.► Habitat Most ant species live in the soil. Some, like the carpenter ants, also live in wood (they excavate, but do not actually eat the wood). Some ants live in cavities made inside plants, such as acorns, twigs, and galls.
Description► Body► Ants vary in length from about 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) to nearly 2 inches (5 cm). Most species are red, black, brown, or yellow, and some are green or metallic blue. Ants, like other insects, have six legs. Their bodies are divided into three distinct segments: head, thorax, and abdomen. Unlike other insects, ants have elbowed (rather than straight or curved) antennae (feelers), and a pedicel, a narrow waistlike indentation between the thorax and abdomen. The crop, an organ located in the abdomen, is used to store food, which can later be regurgitated to feed other members of the colony.► Most ants are smooth-bodied, although some have spiny projections. Ants have strong jaws called mandibles, which are adapted for killing, crushing, chewing, cutting, or tearing, depending on the species and what it eats. Some species of ants have glands that produce formic acid, a strong acid that can be squirted on enemies, causing a burn or sting. Many ants have stingers that contain poison, and some, such as the harvester ants and fire ants, can inflict painful and, occasionally, fatal stings on humans and other animals.
► Why Do Ants Have Tiny Waists?► Ants have tiny waists so they can wriggle their end parts freely! An ant’s waist has one or two movable parts. These parts allow the ant to twist and turn in different ways—an important feature for moving about an ant colony.► Ants have three main body parts: the head, the trunk, and the metasoma (meht uh SOH muh). The ant’s eyes, antennae, and mandibles (MAN duh buhlz) are located on its head.► Attached to the trunk are six legs with segments. Each leg has two claws at the foot. The claws hook into dirt, tree bark, or leaves, so ants can quickly walk, climb, and dig! Ants are strong, too. Many ants can lift 50 times their body weight!► The metasoma has two parts. They are the waist and the gaster. Organs for digesting, getting rid of waste, and reproducing are in the gaster. Some ant species have a sting at the end of the gaster to defend against other insects.
► Where Do Ants Live?► There are about 10,000 species of ants. So it is not surprising that ants, like millions of other social insects, live everywhere on land, except where it is really cold. In fact, areas with warm and moist climates have the most types of ants and other insects.► Tropical rain forests are very rich in insect life. If all the animals in the Amazon rain forest were weighed, many scientists think ants and termites would make up one-third of that weight.► Ants are successful survivors. They have different ways of life that allow them to live in different habitats. And their small size makes it easy for them to find food and shelter.► Senses► The ants most highly developed sense is that of smell. Ants have abdominal glands that secrete a variety of pheromones, chemical substances that cause specific reactions by other individuals. Pheromones act as alarms, sex attractants, and trail markers; and they help individuals recognize each other. Ants have a well-developed sense of taste, and can distinguish sour, sweet, bitter, and salty tastes. Their sense of touch is keen. Touch, or tactile, receptors are located on the feet and on hairs on the legs. The antennae are used for smelling, tasting, and touching.► Some species of ants have compound eyes and well-developed vision, while others have simple eyes that can only distinguish between light and dark. Some species of ants are blind.
Ant biology and life cycle► Ants are social insects that live in colonies that may include thousands of individuals. Ants, along with bees and wasps, are members of the order Hymenoptera and undergo complete metamorphosis passing through four stages:► Egg► Larva► Pupa► Adult► The wingless worker ants are the most common adults seen. However, there are three types of adults:► Queens► Males► Workers
Biology and life cycle—QueensCharacteristics and duties of queen ants Largest individualsin colony Are the only females that reproduce Locate nestsite Lay eggs Assist workers in feeding and groominglarvae Some ant species have only one queen per colony;others such as Argentine ants may have several
► Biology and life cycle—Males► Characteristics and duties of male ants► Do not participate in colony activities► Mate with queens► Die usually within 2 weeks of mating
► Biology and life cycle—Workers► Characteristics and duties of workers► Sterile females► Most numerous caste► Some species such as carpenter ants and fire ants are polymorphic, having several sizes of workers; the larger workers, or major workers, have different job duties than the smaller ones, or minor workers.► Ants such as the Argentine ants only have one size of worker and divide job duties by age; older workers gather food and younger workers relay and store food, build tunnels, defend the colony; and feed, groom, transport, and protect larvae.
Distribution:► Many ant genera are found only in rainforests in the warm, high rainfall areas along the northern and eastern coasts. In fact, about 23 of the 101 Australian genera are limited to coastal Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales (see locations map at bottom). If we add to these rainforest habitats the higher rainfall forests and Mediterranean climate regions of southern New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, southern South Australia and south-western Western Australia, the number of genera limited to these regions grows to about 50, or nearly half of all known Australian genera. Additionally, more ant genera have been found at certain Queensland rainforest sites than any other Australia site of comparable size, with up to 76 genera being recorded. In contrast to this, the dry arid zone of central Australia is occupied by only about 25 genera. None of these genera are limited to the arid zone as all occur in higher rainfall areas nearer the coasts. It is also worth noting that no genera are restricted to Western Australia or Tasmania.
Wasps► Nesting habits► The type of nest produced by wasps can depend on the species and location. Many social wasps produce nests that are constructed predominantly from paper pulp. The kind of timber used varies from one species to another and this is what can give many species a nest of distinctive colour. Social Wasps also use other types of nesting material that become mixed in with the nest and it is common to find nests located near to plastic pool or trampoline covers incorporating distinct bands of colour that reflect the inclusion of these materials that have simply been chewed up and mixed with wood fibres to give a unique look to the nest.
► Again each species of social wasp appears to favour its own specific range of nesting sites.D. media and D. sylvestris prefer to nest in trees and shrubs, others like V. germanica like to nest in cavities that include holes in the ground, spaces under homes, wall cavities or in lofts. By contrast solitary wasps are generally parasitic or predatory and only the latter build nests at all. Unlike honey bees, wasps have no wax producing glands. Many instead create a paper-like substance primarily from wood pulp. Wood fibers are gathered locally from weathered wood, softened by chewing and mixing with saliva. The pulp is then used to make combs with cells for brood rearing. More commonly, nests are simply burrows excavated in a substrate (usually the soil, but also plant stems), or, if constructed, they are constructed from mud.
► Solitary wasps► The nesting habits of solitary wasps are more diverse than those of social wasps. Mud daubers andpollen wasps construct mud cells in sheltered places typically on the side of walls. Potter waspssimilarly build vase- like nests from mud, often with multiple cells, attached to the twigs of trees or against walls. Most other predatory wasps burrow into soil or into plant stems, and a few do not build nests at all and prefer naturally occurring cavities, such as small holes in wood. A single egg is laid in each cell, which is sealed thereafter, so there is no interaction between the larvae and the adults, unlike in social wasps. In some species, male eggs are selectively placed on smaller prey, leading to males being generally smaller than females
► Social wasps► The nests of some social wasps, such as hornets, are first constructed by the queen and reach about the size of a walnut before sterile female workers take over construction. The queen initially starts the nest by making a single layer or canopy and working outwards until she reaches the edges of the cavity. Beneath the canopy she constructs a stalk to which she can attach several cells; these cells are where the first eggs will be laid. The queen then continues to work outwards to the edges of the cavity after which she adds another tier. This process is repeated, each time adding a new tier until eventually enough female workers have been born and matured to take over construction of the nest leaving the queen to focus on reproduction. For this reason, the size of a nest is generally a good indicator of approximately how many female workers there are in the colony and some hornets nests eventually grow to the size of beach balls. Social wasp colonies often have populations of between three and ten thousand female workers at maturity, although a small proportion of nests are seen on a regular basis that are over three feet across and potentially contain upwards of twenty thousand workers and at least one queen. What has also been seen are nests close to one another at the beginning of the year growing quickly and merging with one another to create nests with tens of thousands of workers.Polistes Some related types of paper wasp do not construct their nests in tiers but rather in flat single combs.
Dolichovespula nest on maplewasp nests tree, photographed near Maple Lake
The Habitat of Wasps► Regions► Almost ever region of the world has wasps, with more than 200,000 species of the insect and its relatives having been discovered around the world. There are at least 4,000 types of wasps in the United States alone. Wasps can survive in almost any terrain, with the exception of polar regions. Rainforests, wetlands, deserts, marshes, dunes and forests are just a few of the terrains where wasps had built nests.
► Nests► Wasps build their nests in a variety of ways; however, unlike bees that use wax, wasps typically make their nests from paper. When building a nest, the colony workers collect paper and wood fibers in their mouths, including pieces of weathered fences, telephone poles and cardboard boxes. After mixing the fibers with saliva, the wasps use the paste to construct the nest. The fibers harden and create a durable paper home. Some wasp species, such as the European hornet, build nests in hollowed trees or a homes attic. Others, like the bald-faced hornet, construct hanging nests from trees and vegetation.► Inside Nests Each wasp nest can hold thousands of the insects. Most wasp habitats can house from 11,000 to 13,000 workers. They use these nests for breeding and raising offspring. Depending on the species of wasp, some female worker wasps will lay eggs and produce larva, while other species females dont reproduce. They only care for the queens offspring. Because wasps hunt live creatures, including flies, spiders and caterpillars, they do not store food in the nest, to avoid spoiling.
► Longevity of Nests Most wasp colonies are short-lived compared to other animals, with most surviving only one year. During the winter, almost all of a nests worker wasps will die. The queen wasp will abandon the nest and find a warm place to hibernate through the winter, such as an empty log. When the weather warms, the queen will establish a new colony and nest somewhere else. Rarely do wasps return to their nest from the year past.
Description► Wasps are probably the most familiar and generally disliked of all British Insects. Their bodies bear the characteristic black and yellow bands and have a narrow waist in the middle of the body. They vary in size from the worker which is 10-15mm in length to the queen which is 20mm long. They all have two pairs of wings which lock together. The needle-like sting is possessed only by the females and is concealed near the tip of the abdomen.
Biology► In wasps, as in other Hymenoptera, sexes are significantly genetically different. Females have 2n number of chromosomes and come about from fertilized eggs. Males, in contrast, have a haploid (n) number of chromosomes and develop from an unfertilized egg. Wasps store sperm inside their body and control its release for each individual egg as it is laid; if a female wishes to produce a male egg, she simply lays the egg without fertilizing it. Therefore, under most conditions in most species, wasps have complete voluntary control over the sex of their offspring
► Anatomy and sex► Anatomically, there is a great deal of variation between different types of wasp. Like all insects, wasps have a hard exoskeleton covering their three main body parts. These parts are known as the head, mesosoma and metasoma. Wasps also have a constricted region joining the first and second segments of the abdomen (the first segment is part of the mesosoma, the second Wasp ocelli is part of the metasoma) known as the petiole (simple eyes) . Like all insects, wasps have three sets of and dorsal two legs. In addition to their compound eyes, part of the wasps also have several simple eyes known compound eyes ; also showing as ocelli. These are typically arranged in a fine, triangular formation just forward of an area unbranched of the head known as the vertex. hairs
► It is possible to distinguish between sexes of some wasp species based on the number of divisions on their antennae. For example, male yellowjacket wasps has 13 divisions per antenna, while females have 12. Males can in some cases be differentiated from females by virtue of having an additional visible segment in the metasoma . The difference between sterile female worker wasps and queens also varies between species but generally the queen is noticeably larger than both males and other females.► Wasps can be differentiated from bees, which have a flattened hind basitarsus. Unlike bees, wasps generally lack plumose hairs
Sand wasp (Bembix oculata, familyAdult European beewolf ( Crabronidae) removing bodilyPhilanthus triangulum) fluids from a fly after paralysing itfeeding on nectar with the sting
Distribution► Several species of wasps exist in the UK but the most abundant is the Common Wasp and German wasp, both of which are widely distributed. Both species nest underground or in the cavities of trees, walls and Buildings.