Strepsiptera

Strepsiptera  (Twisted-winged).

This order includes but a few species; Dr. Baird in his Cyclopædia, gives the following account of them:—

"Certain insects were discovered by Kirby, living parasitic in the abdomen of some Andrenæ, which at that time were nondescript, and could not be referred to any existing order. They were afterwards placed in an order by themselves, which he called Strepsiptera. The larvæ live in the bodies of Bees, Wasps &c., and the males only undergo a perfect metamorphosis; the females, even when adult, have neither legs, wings, nor eyes, but resemble larvæ, and continue to live parasitic in the bodies of the Hymenopterous insects within which they were born. The characters are thus taken from the male and consist chiefly in the structure of the wings. The anterior pair are quite rudimentary, being transformed into a pair of short, slender, contorted appendages resembling narrow balancers or halters. The posterior pair are large and membraneous, their nervures are only longitudinal, so that they are able to fold them like a fan. They have large globular eyes, with the facets few, but of comparatively large size."

FIG. 26.—STYLOPS ANDRENÆ.

"About ten or twelve species are known, forming a small family, "Stylopidæ." The genus Stylops may be taken as the type, and contain such species as have the tarsi with four points and the antennæ with six."