Anyone who has ever seen a wasp has seen an arthropod. An arthropod is a creature that has an exoskeleton, a segmented body, jointed appendages and an open circulatory system. In order to understand where the wasp fits into the animal kingdom, it is necessary to know its classification, habitat and its characteristics.
An easily recognized arthropod is the wasp. The wasp is a member of the Phylum Arthropod due to its segmented body, jointed legs and open circulatory system. The wasp is part of the Subphylum Uniramia. It is in the Class Insecta that has the three body segments and compound eyes. The wasp is in the Order Hymenoptera along with bees and ants. As with most Hymenoptera, the wasp has a stinger on the last section of its body. Wasps that have a social lifestyle are in the Family Vespidae. Yellow jackets and hornets are two examples.
Wasps live in many different places. The best time for observing wasps is in the spring. This is when they come out of hibernation and are ready to become active. The first thing a wasp will do after leaving hibernation is to look for food. Like bees, wasps eat flower nectar with their long mouth parts. They may also prey on spiders or other insects such as cockroaches, bees, ants, leafhoppers or weevils. Sometimes wasps are attacked by other wasps or bees. Their young larvae and pupae are carried off as food for the enemy. Wasps are high on the insect food chain, so they dont have that many enemies.
The wasp has many body characteristics. It has a head, thorax and abdomen. They are less than an inch in length but are feared by humans because their sting is painful. The wasp has a trachea system, which is a gas exchange organ. They have three pairs of legs and a stinger on the last segment of their body. The queen lays her own eggs and then she fertilizes each with a drop of sperm. She coats her eggs with a sticky substance so they wont fall out of their place. Wasps are unique because of their social way of life and amazing skills they use in making paper to build their nests.
These facts show how the wasp is unique. By learning facts about the characteristics of the wasp, it makes it easy to see why it is classified in the Phylum Arthropod, Subphylum Uniramia, Class Insecta, Order Hymenoptera and Family Vespidae. The wasp is a very interesting insect to study.