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Strepsiptera PDF Print

Strepsiptera are one of the holometabolous insect orders. In the light of the latest studies, they appear to be closely related to the Coleoptera. Strepsiptera are obligatory parasites of seven other insect orders (Thysanura, Blattodea, Mantodea, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera). They have many unusual and unique autapomorphies often related to the parasitic way of life. The adaptations appear either on morphological level by reductions in adult females and development of new structures in immature stages and adult males, or on manipulations of the host behaviour, probably used for strepsipteran benefit.

Xenos vesparum in Polistes abdomen

Furthermore, at least some species have developed unique mode of defence against the host’s immune response.
Sexual dimorphism of adult individuals is distinctive; females are permanently endoparasitic (except the basal family Mengenillidae), males are free living and they live just a few hours. For this reason, males and females could be incorrectly classified in the separate species.
Immature stages are under the extreme degree of miniaturization. In spite of this, it has preserved many morphological features.
Our interest is directed to the phylogeny and coevolution of strepsipteran families Stylopidae and Xenidae with their hosts – aculeate Hymenoptera. We also engage in the behaviour of stylopized (parasitized by Strepsiptera) bees (model species Andrena vaga) or in the morphology of strepsipteran first instars.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2012 13:40