Currently viewing the category: "Nests"
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Subject: Wasp or hornet
Location: Costa Rica near Arenal Volcano
April 7, 2016 9:31 am
Could you tell me what type of bug this is? Wasp or hornet? What kind? Does it sting?
Thanks!
Signature: Paige

Carton Wasp Nest

Carton Wasp Nest

Dear Paige,
Upon researching your request, we first encountered out own posting of Warrior Wasps,
Synoeca septentrionalis, and we believe your images depict the same species.  Alas, not all websites have the longevity that we enjoy, and several of the links from our 2014 posting are no longer active.  We did locate new images on American Insects that identify two members of the genus, Synoeca septentrionalis or S. surinama, as Carton Wasps, and this information is provided:  “Synoeca species are distributed from Mexico to Argentina.  The genus is a small one, with five described species (Andena et al., 2009).  Wasps in this genus are swarm founders, with a queen and a number of workers moving together to a site for a new nest. Swarm founders (which also include other genera such as Agelaia and Polybia) make large and elaborate nests, usually inside an envelope.  In certain other paper wasp genera, nests are founded by a queen without the help of workers, and typically the nests are smaller and exposed (Nadkarni and Wheelright, editors, 2000).  Two species of Synoeca are yellowish overall:  S. chalibea and S. virginea.  The other 3 species are bluish to blackish. Wings are dark. Nests house about 200 individuals and are often attached to a leaning tree; if disturbed, the wasps inside making a drumming noise.  As the nest grows, its external surface has transverse corrugations looking like an armadillo’s back, hence these wasps are locally referred to as ‘armadillos’ or ‘cachicamas.'”  According to the National Science Foundation:  “In some areas of South America, the local name for this species is ‘armadillo wasp,’ in reference to the form of the nest. When mildly disturbed, the workers will produce an ominous rhythmic sound by rubbing against the nest paper. In Costa Rica, they are euphemistically called ‘guitar players.’ Upon further disturbance, they are capable of mounting a ferocious attack, and the stings are reputed to be exquisitely painful. The sting apparatus is barbed, and will often embed in the skin of the unlucky nest predator. This wasp is mimicked by many less-dangerous insects, presumably to gain protection from the resemblance.”  We really enjoyed researching your request.

Carton Wasp

Carton Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Are these bees? Are they dangerous?
Location: Guatemala
March 2, 2016 3:38 pm
Hi,
I have two types of bees (?) in my back patio. One type is big in size and just starting a nest, very slowly (they seem to take forever, it has been the same size for weeks) and I only see like 4 or 5 of them (see picture 1).
The other type are much smaller but they have a much bigger nest (see picture 2).
My question is the ones you see on picture 1, are they dangerous? They look a bit scary.
Thanks!
Signature: Danielle

Paper Wasp Nest

Paper Wasp Nest

Dear Danielle,
Your first image depicts the construction of a Paper Wasp nest, most likely a member of the genus
Polistes.  Like other social wasps, they will defend the nest from an intruder or attacker by stinging, but they are not considered aggressive.  We tried to search species from Guatemala, and we found this image on ABC Wildlife that appears to be the same as your species, but there is no name provided.  Here is a similar nest from our own archives.  Your other nest appears to be a Hornet Nest.

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible wasp?
Location: Sydney, Australia
February 7, 2016 11:56 pm
Hi there, I have noticed what looks to be a wasp nesting outside my back door. It does not seem to be aggressive and I don’t mind it being there as long as it doesn’t harm myself or my dogs. However, the strange thing about it is the nest structure and what it is made out of. I Googled wasp nests, I have looked everywhere and types everything but can’t see any nests that look anything like this. Do you know what type of wasp this is? Is it even a wasp? What is the nest made out of? It’s driving me crazy not knowing. If you zoom in on photo 1, you can just see the little wasp’s head inside the hole. I have no desire to remove the nest as I am regularly outside and the wasp doesn’t come near me. But I’m so curious. If you could identify it for me, that would be great. Thanks so much.
Signature: CuriousityCat

Wasp with Nest

Wasp with Nest

Dear CuriosityCat,
Wasps that construct nests generally use mud or chewed wood that creates a paper pulp.  Your images have what appears to be resin oozing from the bricks.  There is not really enough detail for us to be able to identify the Wasp, but perhaps one of our readers who is more familiar with Australian insects will be able to provide an identity.

Wasp with Nest

Wasp with Nest

Update:  Thanks to comments from Cesar Crash and Drhoz, we are pretty confident this is a Resin Mason Wasp, Epsilon chartergiformis, which is documented on FlickR constructing a nest using resin.  It is also documented on Bowerbird where Ken Walker provided the following comment:  “This is a FASCINATING find!!! There are very few aculeate wasps (ie. wasps with stings) that use resin as a building material. There are Australian resin bees but to our knowledge, there are only two Australian wasps that use plant resins to build their brood nest. These wasps are Epsilon chartergiformis (incorrectly listed on AFD, ALA and BowerBird as Pseudepipona chartergiformis) and Epsilon excavatum (incorrectly listed on AFD, ALA and BowerBird as Ubirodynerus excavatus). In 1995, Giordani Soika transferred these wasps to the genus Epsilon. There are 17 described species in this genus and all occur in SE Asia and Australia. OBVIOUSLY, there are no distribution records on ALA for either of the two Australian species.”

Wasp Peering from Nest

Wasp Peering from Nest

Update:  February 23, 2016
Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much, to yourself and your readers for helping me identify the wasp. I feel so happy now that I know what it is. I’ve been watching every day as the nest has been growing bigger, it’s been interesting.
I’ve attached a photo I took of the nest this morning, as it looks now.
Thank you once again for taking the time to get back to me, I really appreciate it.
Kind regards,
Novella Besso

Resin Mason Wasp Nest

Resin Mason Wasp Nest

Dear Novella,
Thanks for your kind words and a progress image of your Resin Mason Wasp Nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cool nest in Pollock Pines, CA
Location: Pollock Pines, CA
September 22, 2015 2:47 pm
I’ve never seen a home quite like this. Could you please possibly identify what species made this home with just a picture and location? I found this spider home on a pine needle pathway in the forest of Pollock Pines. It’s so beautifully constructed and I’m so extremely curious about it! Thank you for your time, folks at whatsthatbug!
Signature: -P. Rose

Spider Nest

Spider Nest

Dear P. Rose,
While we cannot sat for certain what species of spider made this nest, it does appear to be a large individual.  Some species of burrowing spider might construct an opening such as this.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply some information.  The Burrowing Wolf Spider nest pictured on the Blue Jay Barrens blog looks similar, and members of the genus Geolycosa are found in California according to BugGuide.

Spider Nest

Spider Nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird Nest
Location: San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles
August 9, 2015 10:07 am
Hi,
I am hoping someone can help me identify this “nest.” That’s what I am calling it because I have no clue. It was hanging in my father in law’s backyard and he took it down and opened it up but did not see anything. A few days later he became very ill with breathing issues and we are wondering if this “nest” had anything to do with it.
Please help. He is in the ICU and we are searching for answers. His doctor said that maybe an antigen caused his illness.
Signature: Sheila

Bushtit Nest

Bushtit Nest

Dear Sheila,
We are sorry to hear about your father-in-law.  This looks like the nest of a Bushtit to us, and there are many similar images posted on the Best Animal Galleries site.  A Bushtit is a small social, insectivorous bird and one is pictured with its nest on BirdNote.

Bushtit Nest

Bushtit Nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bugs nest
Location: Miami,Florida
July 29, 2015 10:27 am
Please help me figure out what this is.
Signature: Tiffany

Mud Dauber Nest

Mud Dauber Nest

Dear Tiffany,
This is the nest of a Mud Dauber, a solitary wasp that builds a nest of mud that is comprised of numerous cells provisioned with paralyzed spiders.  Each cell contains a single egg.  By the look of your nest, the adult Mud Daubers have already emerged to forage, pollinate flowers and possibly begin building a new generation of mud nests in sheltered locations, often in the corners of windows and under eaves.  Mud Daubers are not an aggressive species that can often be found collecting mud in gardens and other areas that are watered.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination