The majority of wasp species (well over 100,000 species) are "parasitic" , and the ovipositor is used simply to lay eggs, often directly into the body of the host. The most familiar wasps belong to Aculeata, a "division" of Apocrita, whose ovipositors are adapted into a venomous sting, though a great many aculeate species do not sting. Aculeata also contains ants and bees, and many wasps are commonly mistaken for bees, and vice-versa. In a similar respect, insects called "velvet ants" are technically wasps.
The suborder Symphyta, known commonly as sawflies, differ from members of Apocrita by lacking a sting, and having a broader connection between the mesosoma and metasoma. In addition to this, Symphyta larvae are mostly herbivorous and "caterpillarlike", whereas those of Apocrita are largely predatory or parasitoids.
A much narrower and simpler but popular definition of the term wasp is any member of the aculeate family Vespidae, which includes (among others) the genera known in North America as yellowjackets and hornets (Vespa); in many countries outside of the Western Hemisphere, the vernacular usage of wasp is even further restricted to apply strictly to yellowjackets.
Where to find themEdit
Wasps build their nests in a variety of places, often choosing sunny spots. Nests are commonly located in holes underground, along riverbanks or small hillocks, attached to the side of walls, trees or plants, or underneath floors or eaves of houses. Wasp nests are most easily found on sunny days at dawn or dusk as the low light levels make it easier to spot the Wasps flying in and out of their nests. Wasps will attack and sting humans, particularly if threatened, so care should be taken around Wasps and their nests. Wasp nests found in dangerous places (such as in houses or in commonly used public spaces) should be reported to the local council or pest control service for removal.