Stinging wasps (Hymenoptera: Aculeata), which species have the longest sting?

Abstract:

:The stings of bees, wasps, and ants are something that catches the attention of anyone that experiences them. While many recent studies have focused on the pain inflicted by the stings of various stinging wasps, bees, or ants (Hymenoptera: Aculeata), little is known about how the length of the sting itself varies between species. Here, we investigate the sting length of a variety of aculeate wasps, and compare that to reported pain and toxicity values. We find that velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) have the longest sting compared to their body size out of any bee, wasp, or ant species. We also find that there is no link between relative sting length and pain; however, we did find an inverse relationship between relative sting length and toxicity with taxa having shorter relative stings being more toxic. While we found a significant relationship between host use and relative sting length, we suggest that the long sting length of the velvet ants is also related to their suite of defenses to avoid predation.

journal_name

PeerJ

journal_title

PeerJ

authors

Sadler EA,Pitts JP,Wilson JS

doi

10.7717/peerj.4743

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2018-05-02 00:00:00

pages

e4743

issn

2167-8359

pii

4743

journal_volume

6

pub_type

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