Brown, William L., Jr. Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
- Life cycle
- Parasitic activity
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An order of twisted-winged insects that spend most of their life cycle as internal parasitoids of other insects. The adult male is only a few millimeters in wing span, is free-living, and has only one pair of full flight wings [the posterior (metathoracic) pair]. The front (mesothoracic) wings are reduced to narrow, clublike organs that may function as halteres, or flight balancers. The male eyes are coarsely faceted and berrylike, and the antennae have four to seven segments, with some segments having finger- or bladelike extensions (see illustration). Most adult females are immobile, blind, and larviform, and live inside the insect host. Rarely, the female is free-living, with legs and eyes but no wings. More than 600 species of Strepsiptera are known, many of them not yet formally described and named. The order's relationship to other insect orders remains uncertain.
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