The Aculeata are one of the groups within the Hymenopteran Suborder Apocrita.

Aculeates share the characteristic feature of a sting. This evolved from the ovipositor of more primitive Hymenoptera, becoming a venom-transmitting weapon for hunting, defence, and aggression. The eggs emerge at the base of the sting but do not pass through it.

The Aculeates includes some of the most easily recognisable insects such as the ants, bees and wasps.

A photograph of a nest of the European paper wasp _Polistes dominulus_.

A nest of the European paper wasp Polistes dominulus
Photograph by Fabio Brambilla licensed under Creative Commons.

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