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The ovipositor of Aculeata, which has lost its egg-laying function and serves as a means of injecting venom to paralyse, but not kill, the prey of hunting wasps, and is used as a means of defence by bees. The sting of honey-bees (Apis species) and some social wasps is barbed and remains in the skin of the victim after the wasp or bee has become detached. In honey-bees the muscular venom sac of detached stings continues to pump venom, and it also emits an alarm pheromone which alerts other workers, which may be recruited to join the attack.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Zoology and Animal Sciences.


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