Do Wasps Have Bones?

From afar, you know precisely what a wasp looks like and how it acts. But do you know how it is made? Do wasps have bones and a skeleton?

No, wasps do not have bones. Instead of bones, a wasp’s organs, bodily fluids, muscles, brain, nervous system, and every other vital part of its body are inside an exoskeleton. 

Like all other insects, wasps don’t have bones or a skeleton that is present inside their body. Instead, their skeleton is present outside their body, protecting all of a wasp’s vital organs. 

An exoskeleton is in the form of a hard shell covering the outer layer of the body. Everything necessary that keeps a wasp alive is secured inside the exoskeleton.

In a wasp’s life cycle, there are four stages; egg, larva, pupa, and finally, adult. Before a wasp reaches adult form, it’s in its larval or pupa phase, which also has an exoskeleton – also known as a pupal or larval cuticle. 

Do Wasps Have a Skeleton?

Yes, wasps have a skeleton, but it isn’t like our skeleton or any other vertebrate skeleton.

A wasp’s skeleton, instead of existing inside the body, exists outside the body.

A wasp’s exoskeleton is like a protective covering that protects wasps and their vital organs, nervous system, brain, muscles, and all the other essential organs.

All insects have exoskeletons instead of a standard skeleton, some exoskeletons are very tough, and others are often brittle and weak but hard enough to keep the insect’s body secure. 

Wasp Exoskeleton

A wasp’s larval and pupal form has a premature exoskeleton known as a pupal or larval cuticle. The wasp larvae shed the cuticle four times and the pupa once more before turning into an adult wasp with a new mature exoskeleton stronger than its larval cuticle.

Wasps also breathe through several holes in their exoskeleton in their abdominal region. These holes are called spiracles.

Is an Exoskeleton Important for Wasps?

An exoskeleton is necessary for a wasp as it keeps all of its vital organs and muscles secure and protected. The exoskeleton provides the wasp with waterproofing, mobility, flexibility, and shape.

The exoskeleton is flexible near the abdominal regions. It also gives the wasp protection from other insects and harsh weather. 

A wasp doesn’t drown in heavy rain or if it falls in a pool or tub of water because of its exoskeleton, as the wasp can control its spiracles and close them when in water or when it’s raining, so it doesn’t drown. 

What is an Exoskeleton Made Of?

An exoskeleton is composed of chitin. A single layer of epidermal cells secretes this chitin. It’s a brittle yet tough and elastic substance. Chitin also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties which protects it from most diseases and pollution. 

Do Wasps Have a Skull?

Wasps do not have a skull. Their skulls are part of their exoskeleton, which covers their overall body from the outside. Their exoskeleton is a rigid covering that keeps their insides secure, it’s located on the outside of their body, and it’s tough and provides protection for the insect.

A wasp’s exoskeleton protects its three main body parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.

The segmented sensory antennae, compound eyes, ocelli, and mandibles are all present on the surface of their head, on top of their exoskeleton.

Inside their exoskeleton, a tiny brain exists that does all the tasks. Some parts of the wasp brain expand when the wasps are about to do a difficult job.

Like how our brains, eyes, tongue, and teeth are inside a skull, it’s the opposite for a wasp as their eyes, antennae, mandibles, and ocelli are present in their head region.

Do Wasps Have a Spine?

Wasps, like all other insects, do not have a spine because they’re invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals that don’t have a backbone or even a skeleton.

Most invertebrates either have an exoskeleton (bees, ants, wasps, beetles) and other times, they don’t even have a skeleton at all, neither an internal skeleton nor an external skeleton (slugs and snails). 

Do Wasps Have Organs? 

Wasps have all the necessary organs to keep themselves functional and alive. Most of the necessary vital organs are present in the wasp’s abdomen.

A wasp has a brain in its head, a heart that runs down along the length of the wasp’s body, and haemolymph, which is a replacement for blood in insects, including wasps.

Wasps have all the necessary organs minus lungs, which are replaced with holes in the exoskeleton called spiracles; these spiracles help the wasp to breathe. 

FAQs

Do you still have more questions about wasps, their lack of bones and how they are made? Then check these FAQs out:

Can Wasps Break Their Exoskeleton?

Although the exoskeleton is strong, it can still be crushed by objects much larger than them. It keeps their body protected from knocks and bumps when flying around.

Summary 

Wasps, like all other insects, don’t have bones. They don’t even have a skeleton or a skull. A wasp’s skeleton is replaced with an exoskeleton that exists outsides the body of a wasp instead of existing internally inside a wasp’s body.

Resources

Below are some of the sources of information we used to put this article together:

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