Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tan flying bug
Location: Central New Jersey, United States
August 26, 2014 6:55 pm
The big just bit my wife. She is pregnant. Should I be concerened? It’s August (obviously) and hot out.
Signature: Mike

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Hi Mike,
This looks like a parasitic wasp known as an Ichneumon to us, and we believe she was stung, not bitten.  We don’t believe there is any cause for concern, but we are not medical professionals nor are we entomologists, so if you have any doubts, we would urge a visit to the doctor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Indian or Hobomok skipper?
Location: Great Falls Park, Virginia
August 24, 2014 4:27 pm
Looking at various sources, I am not sure one can tell the difference, but do you have an opinion as to whether this is an Indian or Hobomok Skipper? Both look just like what I photographed as far as I can see. No other angles, unfortunately, as didn’t move until it flew off. I am also attaching a photo of what presumably is a Cicada Killer Wasp (it was after all, killing an Annual Cicada!), mainly because it has a great deal more yellow than any photo I can find – is this just natural variation? A difference between the sexes? Or is there a sub-species I haven’t seen mentioned?
Signature: Seth

European Hornet kills Cicada

European Hornet kills Cicada

Hi Seth,
We will address the Skipper question later, but most Skippers look alike to our untrained eye.  What you have mistaken for a Cicada Killer with prey is actually an invasive, exotic European Hornet, a formidable predator that can take down very large prey.
  According to BugGuide:  “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young.”  There is also this elaboration:  “The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified wasp?
Location: Fannie, Ark.
August 25, 2014 8:57 am
Found and photographed a couple of days ago in Montgomery County, Arkansas. I think its a wasp but would like to know what kind. Thank you.
Signature: Bill Burton

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Bill,
We believe this is a Parasitic Wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, a large and diverse family.  According to BugGuide:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.”  It looks very similar to this image of
Saranaca elegans posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the larval food is the caterpillar of “Darapsa myron”, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx is found in Arkansas.  We may be way off base with the species, but we are confident that we have at least gotten the family identification correct.

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying Scorpion? Panorpa nuptialis?
Location: Fort Collins, CO
August 22, 2014 2:30 pm
I found this yesterday in an old pot.
Live in Fort Collins, CO.
I am afraid I killed it, even though it bothered me to do so, but it looked somewhat dangerous!
Have never seen anything like this! A friend in Mexico sent me news of Panorpa nuptialis… “flying scorpion” but I am not sure it is enough similar…
Ideas?
Signature: mes

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Dear mes,
This is an American Pelecinid,
Pelecinus polyturator, the only member of its family in the continental United States.  This parasitic wasp uses its long abdomen to deposit eggs underground in the proximity of Scarab Beetle Grubs which the larval wasps eat.  American Pelecinids are not known to sting, but whenever we write that an insect is harmless, or not aggressive, someone writes in to dispute us.  In our opinion, this beneficial insect was killed unnecessarily, and we are tagging the posting as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope that you will be understanding if you encounter another American Pelecinid.  This is most definitely not a Scorpionfly, which is how Panorpa nuptialis is classified.

THANK YOU for this post, and for the education.
I am generally not squeamish around insects (having lived 17 years of my adult life in Mexico) and I sincerely regret falling into the “ew” category with this American Pelecinid. I was feeling mother bear I think…
Thank you so much for the identification which I will post around to try to atone for having lost this one!
Thanks for the good work you do
Mes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider wasp’s (rescued) victim
August 22, 2014 9:14 am
I saw a wolf spider being attacked by a blue spider wasp today, and I managed to chase away the wasp and rescue the spider. I know some species only temporarily paralyze the victim, and I’ve seen the spider twitch, so…does he have any chance of recovering? I feel bad for intervening, especially since it’s probably too late for the spider, but the poor guy was trying very hard to get away, and I wanted to help him out.
I don’t know what kind exactly the wasp was, but it’s a Michigan variety.
Signature: Kitt

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider (from our archives)

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider (from our archives)

Dear Kitt ,
We have heard of a Tarantula recovering from the sting of a wasp, but the whole purpose of the sting is to paralyze the spider so that it will provide food for the wasp larvae.  We are uncertain if it will recover.  We have illustrated your posting with an image from our archives.

Thanks for responding, and I’m glad you could answer my question. I’ll keep an eye on the spider. who knows? He might recover soon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Brigantine, New Jersey, USA
August 20, 2014 1:30 pm
Hi,
I wonder if you can help me out with the id of this one?!
Signature: Kristian

European Hornet???

Male Northern Paper Wasp

Hi Kristian,
Though the coloration is dark, especially on the abdomen, this looks like a European Hornet to us.  We have requested a second opinion.
This individual on BugGuide looks darker than most.

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
Very nice image of a male Northern Paper Wasp, Polistes fuscatus.  A European Hornet would be much bigger, more robust in body shape, but I’ve seen both and the difference is striking to me.  I also don’t know what context or story came with the image.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination