Wasp, common name applied to most species of hymenopteran insects, except bees and ants. Insects known as wasps include the sawflies, the parasitic wasps, and the stinging wasps, which are the best known. About 75,000 species of wasps are known, most of them parasitic.
Wasps are characterized by two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor (tube for laying eggs) that may be modified in various ways. In some species one sex may be wingless. In the vegetarian sawflies, the abdomen is broadly attached to the thorax and the ovipositor is rigid; in the higher wasps, the abdomen is flexibly attached to the thorax and the ovipositor is movable. The larvae of parasitic wasps consume the bodies of other insects or, in a few cases, consume plant tissue. Most stinging wasps are predators or scavengers; their ovipositors may be modified to inject venom used for killing prey or for defense.
via Everything About
See also: Bees