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From Translingual Sphecidae (taxonomic family of wasps), from Ancient Greek σφήξ (sphḗx, wasp)


sphecoid (not comparable)

  1. Of or pertaining to wasps formerly classified in the superfamily Sphecoidea (corresponding to all wasps in Apoidea), now sometimes treated as the series Spheciformes.
    • 1975, Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 2000, page 428,
      On morphological grounds they fall closest to the sphecoid wasps, although the lack of an adequate fossil record has made it impossible to pinpoint the exact ancestral phyletic line. In a word, the Apoidea can be loosely characterized as sphecoid wasps that have specialized on collecting pollen instead of insect prey as larval food.
    • 1982, Albert T. Finnamore, The Sphecoidea of Southern Quebec (Hymenoptera), page 3,
      The literature pertaining to sphecoid wasps in Quebec may be divided into four broad categories: species surveys, biological studies, taxonomic studies and reference works.
    • 2000, Charles Duncan Michener, The Bees of the World, Volume 1, page 2,
      Bees are similar to one group of wasps, the sphecoid wasps, but are quite unlike other Aculeata.

Usage notes[edit]

The term pertains to a classification, Spheciformes or Sphecoidea, that is paraphyletic and represents all members of Apoidea that are not bees. The classification has fallen out of use, but the adjective is still sometimes used, often in the collocation sphecoid wasp. Bees are now thought to have evolved from wasps of a subgroup of Apoidea (and therefore such a grouping of wasps that excludes bees must be paraphyletic).

See also[edit]