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

Subject: Please identify the big bug in picture
Location: north Georgia mountains
August 26, 2016 6:03 am
Good morning. A friend took the attached photo earlier this week. and has given his explicit permission for me to do with it what I want, including sharing it/using it. Our community is in the North Georgia mountains, and my friend’s home is located in the lower elevations of the neighborhood, adjacent to the golf course.
There have been a lot of yellow-jackets in the area this year, so we’re happy that something might be attacking them. But, what in the heck is that big something?
Thanks in advance for any assistance you are able to provide.
Signature: Edie

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Dear Edie,
The predator in the image is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, a large species of Robber Fly.  While Robber Flies might bite a person who carelessly tried to handle one, they are not aggressive towards humans.  The unnatural position of the wings of the Red Footed Cannibalfly in your image is somewhat disturbing, leading us to speculate that it is no longer alive and possibly the victim of Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue Bee??
Location: Pleasant Hills, Pa 15236
August 25, 2016 6:31 am
Hello,
I found what looks like a blue bee in my house this morning (August 25, 2016). It was, thankfully, dead (stalked and killed by my cat). I have never seen anything like it and my dad suggested you may be able to identify it.
Signature: Thank you, Rachel

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Rachel,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae and according to BugGuide:  “The female sting has been modified into an egg-laying tube with highly reduced valvulae and poison gland. As a result, unlike most other aculeates, chrysidids cannot sting and can be easily handled.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Subject:  Sand Wasps attracted to Mint
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 20, 2016
The mint is continuing to attract Honey Bees as well as Skippers, Marine Blues, Syrphid Flies and some gorgeous wasps, like this Sand Wasp in the genus
Bembix.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Usually sandy areas; nest holes are dug in the sand; best opportunity to observe individuals is on dunes or where vegetation is sparse.”  BugGuide continues:  “Females provision their nest with flies which the larvae feed on (a single developing larva may eat more than twenty flies)” and “Provisioning is progressive. The females provide a greater number of prey over subsequent days during larval growth. Adults are excellent diggers and can disappear below the surface of loose sand within seconds.”

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Subject:  Female Scarab Hunter Wasp
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 18, 2016 9:30 AM
Just as we were leaving the office today to gawk at the guerilla art Donald Trump sculpture at Wacko (see LA Times or LAist ), we had to make a slight delay to take some images of this gorgeous female Scarab Hunter Wasp,
Campsomeris tolteca, nectaring on the flowering peppermint.  We first identified this species four years ago in Elyria Canyon Park.  Alas, the statue was in for the night, so we will have to return to Wacko during business hours.   Our identification of the female Scarab Hunter Wasp can be verified on BugGuide.

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flower wasp female
Location: Fremantle, WA
August 15, 2016 6:53 pm
G’day bugman
Thought I’d share this picture of what a friend has helped me identify as a female flower wasp (confirmed from your website). I saw her on the wall of my house in Fremantle, WA.
I haven’t found another image on the net of one with quite the same bright golden colour.
Signature: Hugh

Female Flower Wasp

Female Flower Wasp

Dear Hugh,
Wow, what an awesome image.  We located a four year old posting on our site of a similar looking, but not exact match visually, female Flower Wasp in our archive, and we are going to do some fresh research to try to determine the identity of your particular species.  We located a pretty good visual match on Ant Blog, and the following information is provided:  “This particular specimen is a female Thynnine wasp. All female species of the subfamily Thynninae are wingless and can often be seen scaling an elevated structure like a flower or a tree (or in your case, a fence) in order to catch the attention of a passing male. Unlike females, Tiphiid males do have wings and will literally sweep the receptive female off her feet for an extended in-flight mating ritual that also involves treating the female to several easy meals along the way (flower nectar being much more accessible from the air).  Winglessness in female tiphiid wasps finally proves useful when, after mating, the gravid female must burrow underground to find a suitable repository for her eggs, namely scarab beetle larvae. Interestingly, winglessness or brachyptery (reduced wings) in wasps often goes hand in hand with this kind of parasitism and occurs in at least eight other wasp families. This frequently leads to confusion with ants.”  An even closer visual match is on Esperance Wildlife where it is identified as being in the genus
Hemithynnus and this information is provided:  “Wasps in the Tiphiidae family are generally known as Flower Wasps as the adults feed on the nectar of various flowers. It is a large family that is represented in Australia by 3 sub-families, two of which both the male and female wasps have wings, but in the third Thynninae, the female is wingless and is carried about or otherwise feed by the much larger winged male.  The male thynnine wasps are attracted to the females when she releases a pheromone to indicate she is ready to mate. It is interesting to note that many plants, particularly orchids mimic this pheromone to attract the male wasp, who inadvertently pollinates them when they grasp the labellum, which they think is the female. However most of these wasps would be much smaller than this species (probably a Hemithynnus sp.) that is over 3 cm (11/4”) in length (excluding antennae), so a little large for most orchid flowers. The wingless female above (which may not be the same species) is about a third the size of the male.  These wasps are parasitic on the larvae of burrowing scarab beetles, whereby after mating the wingless female digs into the soil to locate them and will then lay at least one egg on each. They must encounter a number, as they are reasonably common in the Esperance (near coastal) sandy heath from November to January. “

Awesome, thas for the info. Very interesting. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not a scarab beetle larva!
Love your site by the way.
Regards
Hugh

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornet? Wasp?
Location: Holly Springs, NC
August 13, 2016 1:54 pm
Dear bugman,
What is this? Found a nest, was stung!
Signature: Ouch

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

We believe based on the image on Dick Locke’s site and this BugGuide image that this Paper Wasp may be Polistes dorsalis.  This is not an aggressive species, but they will defend the nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination