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Stinging insects are insects that use a stinger to defend themselves against attack. This is in contrast with biting insects, which do so for food and only occasionally for defense.

Stingers 'proper', int his sense, only occur in the hymenoptera: bees, wasps, bumblebees and ants. Their stingers develop from modified ovipositors and therefore only females can sting. The sting gets extra effectiveness from injected venom.

The commonest and most feared stings are those from wasps and bees, especially 'killer bees'. In the southern parts of the USA fire ants can be a pest.