From a lateral perspective, and under a moderately high magnification of 172x, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural morphologic details seen at the proximal region of the stinger apparatus of an unidentified hymenopteran insect found deceased in the Decatur, Georgia suburbs. The Order of Hymenoptera includes bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies. Judging from the smooth nature of this stinger shaft, this was probably something other than a honeybee, whose stinger shaft would have displayed more defined, broader barbs at the distal tip. The smoother nature of the shaft, would have allowed the stinger to have been easily extracted without it becoming inextricably embedded when it was penetrating a victim's skin, as is the case with the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera.
CDC/ Janice Carr
December 2, 2012
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