Hymenoptera have two main larval types. ‘Symphyta’ have larvae that are caterpillar-like, but true caterpillars (Lepidoptera) have at most four pairs of prolegs (abdominal segments 3–6) while sawfly larvae have at least five pairs of prolegs (abdominal segments 2–6). Furthermore the prolegs of Symphyta do not bear crochets, whereas those of Lepidoptera larvae do. ‘Apocrita’ have legless grub-like larvae that are nearly featureless unless they have a differentiated head (Goulet and Huber 1993). All Hymenoptera have haplodiploid sex determination (haploid males and diploid females). Arrhenotoky is the most common mode of reproduction in Hymenoptera (Heimpel and de Boer 2008). The males develop parthenogenetically from unfertilised eggs while the females develop from fertilised eggs. Females can control fertilisation by releasing sperm to an egg upon oviposition, and can thus adjust the sex-ratio of their progeny.
- Goulet H, Huber JT (1993) Hymenoptera of the World: An identifi cation guide to families. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada pp.
- Heimpel GE, de Boer JG (2008) Sex determination in the Hymenoptera. Annual Review of Entomology 53: 209–230.
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