The Social Insects Glossary
This glossary of entomological terms is based on Torre Bueno's Glossary, from which all terms relevant to ants, wasps, bees and termites where extracted.
vagina (pl., vaginae), in insects, tubular part of the genital chamber nearest the oviductus communis (median oviduct), into the anterior of which opens the spermatheca (Tuxen); in Protura, oviductus communis, q.v. (Tuxen); in Isoptera, vestibulum, q.v. (Tuxen); in Phasmida, posterior opening of the bursa copulatrix (Tuxen); in Orthoptera, oviductus communis, q.v. (Tuxen); in Auchenorrhyncha (Hemiptera), saw-case, q.v. (Tuxen); in Coccoidea and Aphididae (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha), vulva, q.v. (Tuxen); in Heteroptera (Hemiptera), pars communis of the ectodermal genital ducts, distally to the oviductus communis (Tuxen, after Heberdey); in Medocostidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), vestibulum, q.v. (Tuxen, after Stys); in Coleoptera, distal (terminal) part of the oviductus communis receiving the penis during copulation (Tuxen); in Lepidoptera with monotrysian type of genitalia, the portion of the oviductus communis between the vestibulum and the ostium oviductus (Tuxen, Cholodkowsky); in Lepidoptera, entire oviductus communis posterior to the entrance of the ductus seminalis or ductus receptaculi (Tuxen, after authors), ductus bursae, q.v. (Tuxen, after Burgess), bursa copulatrix or corpus bursae, q.v. (Tuxen, after Jordan), genital cavity, q.v. (Tuxen, after Malpighi), or ostium bursae, q.v. (Tuxen, after Scudder); in Siphonaptera, deep and narrow pocket proximal to the genital chamber (Tuxen, after Snodgrass) or camera genitalis, q.v. (Tuxen, after Lass); in Diptera, posterior portion of
vaginula (pl., vaginulae), in Hymenoptera, gonoplac, q.v. (Tuxen, after Kirby and Spence).
valvae externae (sing., valva externa), in Hymenoptera, gonocoxites + gonostyli (Tuxen, after Zander); in Psocoptera, lateral processes of gonapophyses of abdominal segment IX (Tuxen).
valvae internae, in Chloroclystis (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), fulterior interior, q.v. (Tuxen, after Meixner); in Hymenoptera, digitus or volsella, q.v. (Tuxen, after Zander).
valvar strut, in Hymenoptera, dorsal ramus (of gonapophysis IX), q.v. (Tuxen, after Ross).
valve(s), a lid or cover to an aperture or opening, which opens in one direction but closes in the other (T-B); internal valvelike lobe of the heart wall between the chambers, said to be present in certain larval Diptera (T-B, after Snodgrass); in adult Hymenoptera, valvula, q.v., of maxilla (T-B, after J. B. Smith); in Coccoidea (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha), anal plate, q.v. (T-B, after Green); in Caelifera (Orthoptera), one of a pair of valvelike lobes projecting from the posterior end of the cingulum (Tuxen, after Dirsh); in Zoraptera, clasping organs, q.v. (Tuxen, after Paulian); in Aleyrodidae (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha), claspers, q.v. (Tuxen); in Auchenorrhyncha (Hemiptera), genital valve, q.v. (T-B, after J. B. Smith); in Coleoptera, parameres, q.v. (Tuxen); in Panorpidae (Mecoptera), paired, appressed lobes of aedeagus, distinct from parameres (Byers); in Lepidoptera, valvae, q.v. (T-B); in Diplura, valvae superae and inferae, q.v. (Tuxen, after Pagés); in Odonata, lateral gonapophyses, q.v. (Tuxen, after Tillyard); in Orthoptera, valvulae, q.v. (Tuxen, after Chopard); in Phasmida, gonapophyses, q.v. (Tuxen);
valve(s), in Boreidae (Mecoptera), gonapophyses laterales, q.v. (Tuxen, after Esben-Petersen); in Lepidoptera, papillae anales, q.v. (Tuxen); in Chironomidae (Diptera), gonapophysis VIII, q.v. (Saether); in Chironomidae (Diptera), gonocoxite IX, q.v. (Saether); in Aculeata (Hymenoptera), a flap on the first valvulae extending into the bulb of the sting (Tuxen, after Snodgrass).
valvilli, in Ichneumonoidea and Apocrita (Hymenoptera), one or more small articulating flaps on first gonapophyses (Gauld and Bolton).
valvula(e), a small valve or valvelike process (T-B); paraproct, q.v. (T-B, after Burmeister); in adult Eumeninae (Vespidae), translucent processes bordering propodeal foramen (Carpenter, pers. comm., after Carpenter and Cumming); in Tortricidae (Lepidoptera), process at the base of the valvula (Tuxen, after Diakonoff); in Lepidoptera, sacculus (Tuxen, after Hering); in Lepidoptera, central and ventrocaudal region of the valva, ventrad of the cucullus, in Noctuidae (Lepidoptera) homologous with valvula (Pierce) and in Rhopalocera absent, being positionally replaced by the harpe (Tuxen, after Sibatani et al.); in Coleophoridae (Lepidoptera), dorsal, lightly sclerotized lobe of the valva (Tuxen, after Toll); in Phasmida, gonapophyses, q.v. (Tuxen); in Orthoptera, the 3 pairs of blades forming the ovipositor (in all groups with an orthopteroid ovipositor) (Tuxen); in Psocoptera, valvae dorsales, q.v. (Tuxen, after Kolbe); in Heteroptera (Hemiptera), gonapophyses (VIII and IX) and styloids, q.v. (Tuxen, after Snodgrass); in Raphidiidae (Raphidioptera), styli, q.v. (Tuxen, after Friedrich); in Mecoptera, lamnae, q.v. (Tuxen, after Grell); in Geometridae (Lepidoptera), central region of the valva, typically lightly sclerotized, lying between the costa and sacculus (Tuxen, after Pierce); in Lepidoptera, papillae anales, q.v. (Tuxen); in adult Hymenoptera, the expanded platelike galea of the maxilla (T-B); in Hymenoptera, gonapophyses, q.v. (Tuxen).
valvura, in Hymenoptera, ventral ramus (of gonapophysis IX), q.v. (Tuxen, after Ross).
vannal lobe, in adult Hymenoptera, claval lobe, q.v. (Borror et al.).
velum (pl., vela), a membrane (T-B); a membranous appendage of the spurs at the apex of the anterior tibia (T-B); a translucent flattened lateral expansion of the basal part of a seta or spicule (Harbach and Knight); in Chrysopidae (Planipennia), a pair of sail-formed processes from the dorsal side of the boxlike spermatheca (Tuxen, after Tjeder); in Coleoptera, thin membrane forming part of apical and marginal portions of a paramere (Tuxen, after Brundin); in Lepidoptera, specialized sclerotized structure of abdominal sternum VIII (Tuxen, after Eltringham); in Siphonaptera, arch-shaped enlargement of the dorsal wall of the aedeagus cephalad above the aedeagal apodeme (Tuxen, after Peus); in adult bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), a broad process at the inner end of the foretibia (T-B).
venom, toxic fluid injected into prey or enemies causing death, paralysis, or pain (Chapman); in aculeate Hymenoptera, the secretion of the accessory or poison gland (Tulloch).
ventral appendix, in adult Hymenoptera, proximal part of the ventral ramus of gonapophyses (transl. "ventralforsatz" Oeser, in Tuxen).
ventral bridge, in Hymenoptera, ventral sclerotic bridge between bases of penis valves (Tuxen, after Michener).
ventral glands, glands in the ventral part of the head of some insects (Thysanura, Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Dermaptera, Acrididae [Orthoptera], and Phasmida), corresponding to the thoracic and prothoracic glands of other insects and a source of the moulting hormone (Leftwich); in Diaspididae (Hemiptera: Coccoidea), circumgenital pores, q.v. (T-B, after MacGillivray); in larval Lepidoptera and Tenthredinidae (Hymenoptera), eversible glands located on the venter (Peterson).
ventral gonocoxal bridge, in Hymenoptera, basal sclerotic bridge between gonocoxites on venter (Tuxen, after Michener).
ventral pharyngeal gland, in the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), a transverse row of cells opening into the floor of the pharynx between the ducts of the lateral pharyngeal glands (T-B, after Snodgrass).
ventral ptyche, in Hymenoptera, longitudinal mesal fold in the corium of each gonapophsis VIII, marking the ventral limit of the egg canal (Tuxen, after E.L. Smith).
ventral ramus, in Hymenoptera, ventral ramus of gonapophysis IX (Tuxen, after E. L. Smith); in Hymenoptera, ventral apodeme running the length of a gonopod and connecting it basally to a gonocoxite (Tuxen, after E. L. Smith); in larval Culicidae (Diptera), a branch of each cibarial bar extending along the lateral margin of the labiohypopharynx (Harbach and Knight).
ventral scopa, in some Apoidea (Hymenoptera), hirsute area on venter of abdomen used in collecting pollen (Gauld and Bolton); see scopa.
vertical furrows, in adult Hymenoptera, the portions of the antennal furrows situated on the dorsal aspect of the head, extending from the lateral ocelli to the caudal aspect of the head, being rarely wanting and usually more distinctly marked than the other portions of the antennal furrows (T-B).
vesiculate larva, in endoparasitic Braconidae (Hymenoptera), eucephalous larva with proctodeum evaginated to form a more or less external spherical vesicle (Gauld and Bolton).
vesparium, a natural or artificial nest of a colony of Vespinae (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) (Tulloch, after Gaul).
Vespoidea, superfamily within the Apocrita (Hymenoptera), including the Vespidae possessing angulate posterior lateral lobes of the pronotum, reaching back to and ending above the tegula, metapleural glands lacking, and lateral pronotum and mesopleuron meeting with carinate margins and with very little free movement between them (Riek, in CSIRO); Vespoidea + Scolioidea + Formicoidea + Pompiloidea + Tiphioidea (Gauld and Bolton, after Brothers).
vespophiles, inquilines in wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), nests, e.g., rove beetle Velleius (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) (Leftwich).
vestibulum (pl., vestibula), in Ephemeroptera, invagination from behind abdominal sternum VII, forming a more or less shallow and modified pouch into which the oviducts open (Tuxen, after Snodgrass); in Isoptera, invagination cavity formed by inflection of the body wall behind (above) abdominal sternum VII when the latter is prolonged beyond abdominal sternum VIII (Tuxen, after Snodgrass); in Reduviidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), oviductus communis (broadened distal part), q.v. (Tuxen, after Davey); in Miridae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), the more or less individualized tubular space between the gonapophyses distal to the genuine vulva in the ovipositor-shaped type of genitalia (Davis); in Lepidoptera, the more or less dilated, cephalad part of the oviductus communis into which open the ductus seminalis and ductus receptaculi (Tuxen, after Petersen).
vexillum (pl., vexilla), in adult Hymenoptera, an expansion on the tip of the tarsus of certain fossorial groups (T-B); in Siphonaptera, membranous appendage, q.v. (Tuxen, after Smit).
volsella (pl., volsellae), pincers (R. W. Brown); in Agulla (Raphidioptera: Raphidiidae), parameres, q.v. (Tuxen, after Michener); in Chironomidae (Diptera), accessory clasping apparatus derived from fragments of either or both of gonocoxite IX and gonapophysis IX, appearing as appendages, lobes or field of gonocoxites or at bases of gonocoxites (Saether); in Hymenoptera, inner ventral fragmentum of paramere (Tuxen, after Snodgrass; Gauld and Bolton).
volsellar bridge, in Hymenoptera, sclerotic bridge between bases of volsellae (Tuxen, after Michener).
volsellar strut, in Hymenoptera, the internal longitudinal ridge strengthening volsella (Tuxen, after Michener).
waggle dance, the dance whereby workers of various species of honey bees (Apis, Hymenoptera: Apidae) communicate the location of food finds and new nest sites, consisting basically of a run through a figure-eight pattern, with the middle, transverse line of the eight containing the information about the direction and distance of the target (Wilson).
waist, in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), pedicel, q.v., of abdomen (Brown, pers. comm.).
Waldtracht disease, poisoning of adult honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), foraging on honeydew from conifers, usually spruce (Steinhaus and Martignoni).
warning coloration, bright colors or markings on animals which are poisonous or otherwise dangerous, giving them the advantage of being recognized and avoided by predators, e.g., black and yellow stripes of a wasp (Hymenoptera) (T-B, after Folsom and Wardle; Leftwich); see aposematic.
Wasmannian mimicry, mimetic resemblance which facilitates cohabitation with a mimic's host, its model, e.g., beetles (Coleoptera) and other guests of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) (Matthews and Matthews, after Rettenmeyer).
wasp, a general term referring to members of the Aculeata (Hymenoptera) other than the Formicidae (ants) and Apoidea (bees), but also as a combining form for other members of the Apocrita.
wax, a complex mixture of lipids, providing a waterproofing layer on the surface of the cuticle or, in Coccoidea and related insects (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha), a protective covering (scale), or, in bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), used to construct larval cells (beeswax) (T-B; Chapman).
wax cutters, in adult honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), pincerlike structures on the hind leg (T-B).
wax glands, any glands which secrete a waxy product (T-B); in Sternorrhyncha (Hemiptera), any of several dermal glands that secrete copious amounts of wax (T-B; Stoetzel, in Stehr); in adult Coniopterygidae (Planipennia), glands situated on the head, thorax, and abdomen secreting a whitish or greyish meal (Riek, in CSIRO); in bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), abdominal glands that produce beeswax (Chapman).
wax pick, a spur or spine on the midleg of the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae), used for removing wax and pollen from the ventral part of the body (Leftwich).
wax pincers, in honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), wax cutters, q.v. (T-B, after Folsom and Wardle).
wax scale, in worker bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), one of the scales secreted in the wax pocket or gland (T-B).
wax shears, in honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), wax cutters, q.v. (T-B).
white head, an abnormality occurring during the development of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), characterized by the lack of brown pigment in the cuticle of the head and of the first pair of legs, resulting from a lack of oxygen to the prothorax and head (Steinhaus and Martignoni).
white soldier, in Isoptera, presoldier, q.v. (Krishna, pers. comm.).
wing scale, in adult Isoptera, basal part of wing remaining on the imago after the main portion of the wing is shed along the basal suture (Emerson); in adult Hymenoptera, tegula, q.v., or humeral plate, q.v. (T-B); in adult Lepidoptera, scale, q.v., on wing (Leftwich).
wing stump, in Isoptera, wing scale, q.v. (Thorne, pers. comm.).
woolly oak gall, leaf gall on oak (Quercus spp.) caused by Callirhytis lanata (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) (Borror et al.).
worker, a member of the nonreproductive, laboring caste in semisocial and eusocial species, presupposing the existence also of royal (reproductive) castes (Wilson); in Termitidae (Isoptera), individuals which lack wing buds and have reduced pterothorax, eyes, and genital apparatus (Wilson); in the social Hymenoptera, females, either unable to reproduce or able to lay fewer eggs than the queen, their function including nest-building, foraging, tending the brood, and defending the colony (T-B, after Imms; Brown, pers. comm.); see gamergate.
worker jelly, in honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), a secreted material supplied by workers to larvae in regular brood cells that causes the latter to develop into workers (see royal jelly) (Wilson).
xanthochroism, in adult Hymenoptera, e.g., Bembicinus (Sphecidae), condition in which males are entirely sandy yellow instead of the normal black and yellow markings (Riek, in CSIRO).
xenobiosis, the relation in which colonies of one ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), live in the nests of another species and move freely among the hosts, obtaining food from them by regurgitation or other means but keeping their brood separate (T-B, after J. B. Smith; Wilson).
Xyeloidea, superfamily within the Symphyta (Hymenoptera), including the family Xyelidae, possessing adults with antennae with a very long third article, formed by the fusion of several antennomeres (Gauld and Bolton, after Königsmann).
yellow pan trap, shallow tray with bright yellow interior and dark exterior filled with a killing solution and placed into the ground, being used to attract and collect small insects, esp. small Hymenoptera (Gauld and Bolton).