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Braconid Wasp

Braconid Wasp

 

Braconids are often black-brown (sometimes with reddish markings), though some species exhibit striking coloration and pattern. They have one or no recurrent veins, unlike other members of the Ichneumonoidea which usually have two. Wing venation patterns are also divergent to apparent randomness. The antennae have 16 segments or more; the hind trochanters have 2 segments. Females often have long ovipositors, an organ that largely varies intraspecifically. This variation is closely related to the host species upon which the wasp deposits its egg. Species that parasitize microlepidoptera, for instance, have longer ovipositors, presumably to reach the caterpillar through layers of plant tissue. Some wasps also have long ovipositors because of caterpillar defense mechanisms such as spines or hairs.

 

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