The development of a true insect society among the Hymenoptera is dependent on a differentiation among the females between individuals with well-developed ovaries (" queens ") whose special function is reproduction; and individuals with reduced or aborted ovaries (" workers ") whose duty is to build the nest, to gather food and to tend and feed the larvae.
Meinert, who endeavoured to compare them with the tegulae of Hymenoptera, but the older view was securely established by the demonstration in pupal elytra by J.
Ants form a distinct and natural family (Formicidae) of the great order Hymenoptera, to which bees, wasps and sawflies also belong.
Such " workers " are essential to the formation of a social community of Hymenoptera, and their wingless condition among the ants shows that their specialization has been carried further in this family than among the wasps and bees.
It is interesting and suggestive that in a few families of digging Hymenoptera (such as the Mutillidae), allied to the ants, the females are wingless.