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Myrmecolacidae The Strepsiptera are a small (~300 species) order of insects. All of them are parasites in other insects; their hosts include bees, wasps, silverfish, and cockroaches. There are nine families:
Male Strepsiptera have wings, legs, eyes, and antennae, and look like flies, though they generally have no useful mouthparts. Females never leave their hosts, except in the Mengenillidae, and have no wings. Females of some species show neoteny. Males have a very short adult lifetime (usually less than five hours) and during they do not feed. They mate with a female (whose anterior region extrudes through the host's body). Sperm pasts through an opening in the head of the female and from there directly into the body cavity (Haemocoel).
Strepsipteran eyes are unlike those of any other insect. Instead of compound eyes consisting of hundreds of ommatidia, each of which sees one pixel, the strepsipteran eyes consist of a few dozen lenses, each with its own individual retina.
The order, named by Kirby in 1831, is named for the hind wings (twisted wing), which are held at a twisted angle when at rest. The forewings are reduced to halteres.
Strepsiptera present an enigma to taxonomists. Some believe they are the sister group to the beetle families Meloidae and Rhipiphoridae , which have similar parasitic development and forewing reduction; some say they are the sister group to the beetles; some say they are the sister group to the flies, which have hindwing halteres.
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