Axillary sclerites (at the wingbase), as illustrated by Snodgrass (1910; Fig. 8, pg. 49)
István and I began a project two years ago – a taxonomic revision of a small group of wasps, who have an interesting and apparently unique way of folding their fore wings. It was a deceptively simple project, designed to get us a quick publication, that has since blown up in our faces. Anyway, in our attempts to understand axillary sclerite morphology across Hymenoptera we ran across this gem, an early Snodgrass paper (1910) whose introductory sentences seem as if they could have been written in 2010:
There are always two classes of workers concerned in the scientific study of any group of animals who think that the work of the other class is properly but secondary to their own. These are the systematists and the morphologists. In the field of entomology, however, there is now a very large third class of workers who pick out as important only those phases of the subject that have some direct connection with the welfare of mankind. We need not discuss the relative merits of the three, however, because the present paper is a sufficient demonstration of the interdependence of all these branches of entomological research.
Brilliant! And still true today, in part. I think that most entomologists appreciate the contributions of people outside their domain, though, whether it’s comparative morphology, systematics, IPM, informatics, physiology, etc.
Wing base sclerites, as imaged by us, using laser confocal microscopy.