The Strepsiptera (twisted-wing parasites) are a group of insects. The approximately 600 species in this order are all obligate parasites of other insects. Strepsipterans have extreme sexual dimorphism. The short-lived males are free-living and winged. The forewings are greatly reduced and haltere-like (Pix et al. 1993) while the hindwings are large and fan-shaped. The males' antennae are large and branched, and the eyes are raspberry-like with a small number of large ommatidia (Kinzelbach 1971, 1990, Kathirithamby 1989). All known strepsipteran females are wingless and resemble larvae to some degree (Kathirithamby 1989). In the suborder Mengenillidia, the females are free-living and have small eyes, mouthparts, and legs. However, in the suborder Stylopidia, females are totally endoparasitic within the host and completely lack the external characteristics typical of adult insects (Kathirithamby 1989).
- Kathirithamby, J. 1989. Review of the order Strepsiptera. Systematic Entomology 14: 41-92.
- Kinzelbach, R. 1990. The systematic position of Strepsiptera (Insecta). American Entomologist 36:292-303.
- Kinzelbach, R. K. 1971. Morphologische Befunde an Fächerflüglern und ihre phylogenetische Bedeutung (Insecta: Strepsiptera). Zoologica 119(1&2) pp. 256.
- Pix, W., G. Nalbach, and J. Zeil. 1993. Strepsipteran forewings are haltere-like organs of equilibrium. Naturwissenschaften 80:371-374.
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