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Wasps, ants, bees, and sawflies

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taxon links [up-->]Apocrita extinct icon [down<--]Endopterygota Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

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Tree after Ronquist et al. (1999), Schulmeister (2003), Sharkey and Roy (2002), and Vilhelmsen (1997, 2001).
Containing group: Endopterygota

Other Names for Hymenoptera


Carpenter, J. M., and W. C. Wheeler. 1999. Towards simultaneous analysis of morphological and molecular data in Hymenoptera. Zoologica Scripta 28(1-2):251-260.

Crozier, R. H. 1975. Hymenoptera. Borntraeger, Berlin; Stuttgart.

Danforth, B. D. 1989. The evolution of hymenopteran wings: The importance of size. Journal Of Zoology 218(2):247-276.

Gauld, I. and Bolton, B. 1988. The Hymenoptera. British Museum (Natural History); Oxford University Press, London; Oxford; New York.

Gibson, G.A.P. 1985. Some pro- and mesothoracic structures important for phylogenetic analysis of Hymenoptera, with a review of terms used for the structures. Can. Ent. 117:1395-1443.

Goulet, H. and J. T. Huber. 1993. Hymenoptera of the world: an identification guide to families. Agriculture Canada Research Branch Monograph no. 1894E.

Johnson, N. F. 1988. Midcoxal articulations and the phylogeny of the order Hymenoptera. Annals Of The Entomological Society Of America 81(6): 870-881.

Krombein, K. V. 1979. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.

Quicke, D. L. J., M. G. Fitton, et al. 1992. Phylogenetic implications of the structure and distribution of ovipositor valvilli in the Hymenoptera (Insecta). Journal Of Natural History 26(3):587-608.

Quicke, D. L. J., S. N. Ingram, et al. 1992. Sperm structure and ultrastructure in the Hymenoptera (Insecta). Zoologica Scripta 21(4):381-402.

Ronquist, F. 1999. Phylogeny of the Hymenoptera (Insecta): The state of the art. Zoologica Scripta 28(1-2):3-11.

Ronquist, F., A.P. Rasnitsyn, A. Roy, K. Eriksson, and M. Lindren. 1999. Phylogeny of the Hymenoptera: A cladistic reanalysis of Rasnitsyn's data (1988) data. Zoologica Scripta 28:13-50.

Saini, M. S. 1986. Comparative studies on the metapostnotal modifications in suborder Symphyta and Hymenoptera Parasitica. Journal Of Entomological Research 10(1):85-90.

Schulmeister, S. 2003. Morphology and evolution of the tarsal plantulae in Hymenoptera (Insecta), focussing on the basal lineages. Zoologica Scripta 32:153-172.

Schulmeister, S. 2003. Review of morphological evidence on the phylogeny of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta), with a discussion of the ordering of characters. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79:209-243.

Schulmeister, S. 2003. Simultaneous analysis of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta): introducing robust-choice sensitivity analysis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79:245-275.

Schulmeister, S., W. C. Wheeler, and J. M. Carpenter. 2002. Simultaneous analysis of the basal lineages of Hymenoptera (Insecta) using sensitivity analysis. Cladistics 18:455-484.

Sharkey, M. J. 2007. Phylogeny and Classification of Hymenoptera. Pages 521-548 in: Zhang, Z.-Q. & Shear, W.A., eds. Linnaeus Tercentenary: Progress in Invertebrate Taxonomy. Zootaxa 1668:1–766.

Sharkey, M. J. and A. Roy. 2002. Phylogeny of the Hymenoptera: a reanalysis of the Ronquist etal. (1999) reanalysis, emphasizing wing venation and apocritan relationships. Zoologica Scripta 31:57-66.

Vilhelmsen, L. 1997. The phylogeny of lower Hymenoptera (Insecta), with a summary of the early evolutionary history of the order. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 35:49-70.

Vilhelmsen, L. 2000. The ovipositor apparatus of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta): phylogenetic implications and functional morphology. Zoologica Scripta 29:319-345.

Vilhelmsen, L. 2001. Phylogeny and classification of the extant basal lineages of the Hymenoptera (Insecta). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 131:393-442.

Whitfield, J. B., N. F. Johnson, et al. 1989. Identity and phylogenetic significance of the metapostnotum in nonaculeate Hymenoptera. Annals Of The Entomological Society Of America 82(6):663-673.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Rhyssa persuasoria
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Behavior giant ichneumon wasp boring the surface of fir trunk infested with wood wasp larvae
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage adult
Source #9008009
Source Collection Bugwood Network/Forestry Images
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © Boris Hrasovec, University of Zagreb
Scientific Name Agapostemon virescens
Location Maryland, United States
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Life Cycle Stage adult
Source #1366072
Source Collection Bugwood Network/Forestry Images
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © Susan Ellis
Scientific Name Rhogogaster viridis
Location Felmersham Gravel Pits, Bedfordshire, UK
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source sawfly - Rhogogaster viridis
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2006 Katie
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Citing this page:

Tree of Life Web Project. 1995. Hymenoptera. Wasps, ants, bees, and sawflies. Version 01 January 1995 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Hymenoptera/8232/1995.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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