One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A minute insect that spends part or all of its life as an internal parasite of other insects, especially bees or wasps. The males are winged and the females typically retain a form like that of a grub and remain parasitic.
Order Strepsiptera, in particular genus Stylops, family Stylopidae
- ‘Larval stages and female stylops of most families are internal parasites; adult males are free-living.’
- ‘The Strepsiptera, from the meaning of this name, may be called the twisted-wing parasites, though the words stylops and stylopid are frequently used in referring to them.’
- ‘All species are fairly similar in appearance and a typical example of a male stylops is illustrated opposite.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek stulos ‘column’ + ōps ‘eye, face’.
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