The female is a segmented, wormlike creature, spending her whole life within the body of the bee, wasp or bug on which she is parasitic. One end of her body protrudes from between two of the abdominal segments of the host; it has been a subject of dispute whether this protruded end is the head or the tail, but there can be little doubt that it is the latter.
Linnaeus applied the Latin term Vermes to the modern zoological divisions Mollusca, Coelentera, Protozoa, Tunicata, Echinoderma (qq.v.), as well as to those forms which more modern zoologists have recognized as worms. As a matter of convenience the term Vermes or Vermidea is still employed, for instance in the International Catalogue of Zoological Literature and the Zoological Record, to cover a number of wormlike animals.