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A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder

Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. This means that wasps
are paraphyletic with respect to bees and ants, and that all three
groups are descended from a common ancestor; the Apocrita form
a clade.

The most commonly known wasps such as yellow jackets and

hornets are in the Vespidae family and are eusocial, living
together in a nest with an egg-laying queen and non-reproducing
workers. Eusociality is favoured by the unusual haplodiploid
system of sex determination in Hymenoptera, as it makes sisters
exceptionally closely related to each other. However, the majority
of wasp species are solitary, with each adult female living and
breeding independently. Many of the solitary wasps are
parasitoidal, meaning that they raise their young by laying eggs
on or in the larvae of other insects. The wasp larvae eat the host
larvae, eventually killing them. Solitary wasps parasitize almost
every pest insect, making wasps valuable in horticulture for
biological pest control of species such as whitefly in tomatoes and
other crops.

Wasps first appeared in the fossil record in the Jurassic, and

diversified into many surviving superfamilies by the Cretaceous.
They are a successful and diverse group of insects with tens of
thousands of described species; wasps have spread to all parts of
the world except for the polar regions. The largest social wasp is
the Asian giant hornet, at up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length;
among the largest solitary wasps is the giant scoliid of Indonesia,
Megascolia procer. The smallest wasps are solitary chalcid wasps
in the family Trichogrammatidae, some of which are just 0.2
millimetres (0.008 in) in length.

Wasps play many ecological roles. Some are predators, whether

to feed themselves or to provision their nests. Many, notably the
cuckoo wasps, are kleptoparasites, laying eggs in the nests of
other wasps. With their powerful stings and conspicuous warning
coloration, often in black and yellow, wasps are frequent models
for Batesian mimicry by non-stinging insects, and are themselves
involved in mutually beneficial Mllerian mimicry of other
distasteful insects including bees and other wasps.

Wasps have appeared in literature

from Classical times, as the
eponymous chorus of old men in
Aristophanes' 422 BC comedy
(Sphkes), The Wasps, and in
science fiction from H. G. Wells's
1904 novel The Food of the Gods and
How It Came to Earth, featuring giant
wasps with three inch long stings.
The name "Wasp" has been used for
many warships and other military


Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae /frmsdi/

and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order
Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the midCretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and
diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of
an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified.[4][5]
They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and the
distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists.

Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory
individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised
colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions
of individuals. Larger colonies consist mostly of sterile, wingless
females forming castes of "workers", "soldiers", or other
specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile
males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called
"queens". The colonies are described as superorganisms because
the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively
working together to support the colony.[6][7]

Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only

places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or
inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form
1525% of the terrestrial animal biomass.[8] Their success in so
many environments has been attributed to their social organisation
and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend
themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to
mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.[9]

Ant societies have division of labour, communication between

individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems.[10] These
parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and
subject of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine,
medication, and rituals. Some species are valued in their role as
biological pest control agents.[11] Their ability to exploit resources
may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can
damage crops and invade buildings. Some species, such as the red
imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), are regarded as invasive
species, establishing themselves in areas where they have been
introduced accidentally.[12]