Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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Subject: Wasp and it’s eight legged prey
Location: Mooroolbark, Victoria, Australia
December 18, 2014 1:11 am
Hi,
I saw this wasp yesterday (December 18) and as you can see it has caught a spider, and quite a large one. The wasp itself was about an inch long maybe (as you can see in the pics it’s about half the height of a standard house brick).
I didn’t see the initial attack, but was walking by and saw it dragging the spider by its face (do spiders even have “faces”? haha) through the leaf litter by the side of the house. I watched it drag the spider at least 5 meters to the front of the house where it then hauled it up the wall with apparent ease (the first picture) and pulled it into the gap in the bricks as demonstrated in the last picture.
I found the whole thing quite amazing. It was like watching a documentary :)
I would love to know what kind of wasp this is. Pity I couldn’t get better pictures, but hopefully they’re enough to identify this awesome wasp.
I was also wondering a few things about the spider. If that spider was on my bedroom wall, I would call it a “Huntsman” but I don’t know it’s actual name. Was the spider going to end up as the wasps meal, or was the spider going to have eggs laid in it, so they can hatch and consume the spider alive? Is that even something wasps do or am I just being creative? Haha
Thanks
I’m wondering if the spider is for food, or whether it’s for the wasp to deposit eggs into.
Signature: Matt P

Spider Wasp preys upon Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp preys upon Huntsman Spider

Dear Matt,
We have no shortage of Australian Spider Wasps with their Huntsman Spider (yes your ID on the spider is correct) prey on our site, most likely because they are a common Australian summer sighting that corresponds to the dearth of interesting North American sightings of our northern winter.  You are also correct that the female Spider Wasp will lay an egg on the Huntsman Spider which will provide a fresh meal for the developing Spider Wasp larva as it feeds on the still living but paralyzed Huntsman Spider.  We believe the Spider Wasp is
Cryptocheilus bicolor.  Spider Wasps will frequently climb a wall or fence dragging the Huntsman Spider so they can glide with the prey as it would be too difficult to take off from the ground with such a heavy load.

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Subject: Spider? Ant?
Location: San Jose del Cabo, BCS Mexico
December 14, 2014 6:26 pm
We are in Los Cabos Mexico. Have seen two of these on our patio today. What are they?
Signature: Cheryl C.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Cheryl C.,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp in the genus
Dasymutilla.  You should try not to handle Velvet Ants, or handle with extreme caution as the sting is reported to be extremely painful.  Only female Velvet Ants are flightless, and only female Velvet Ants sting.

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Subject: Identifying
Location: Edmonds, WA
December 13, 2014 12:19 pm
Dearest Bugman,
I have lived in western Washington for 43 years. I have never seen this bug before. It was caught in a spiderweb and already dead. I have kept it in a plastic container since late summer DYING to know what it is. Can you help please?
Thanks so much,
Signature: Catherine

Wood Wasp

Wood Wasp

Dear Catherine,
This impressive female Wood Wasp or Horntail might be
Urocerus albicornis, which you can find pictured on BugGuide.  Though the antennae are missing, and we cannot say for certain that your individual had white antennae while living, and though the white “cheeks” are not apparent in your image, the distinctively striped legs are nicely illustrated, and that feature helped us to narrow the identification possibilities.

Wood Wasp

Wood Wasp

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Btw… Do you know the number of Bugs Anonymous?…. I think I have a problem.  I dreamt about this wasp last night. lol.  I was dreaming I was back at the spot where I photographed it, trying to get a better picture of it’s abdomen!
True! : ))
Until next time… happy bug watching!
Best regards,
J

Possibly Mason Wasp

Possibly Mason Wasp

Dear J (name withheld to maintain anonymity),
We are creating a special Featured Posting of your plea to connect Bugaholics from around the world.  Let this posting become the beginning of the forum.
  A better view of this Mason or Potter Wasp’s (location withheld to help maintain anonymity) would surely help contribute to a correct identification.

 

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Subject: what’s that wasp?

Location: Oldbury, Western Australia
December 5, 2014 1:53 am
Hi again,
I took this pic of a wasp the other day on my property near Perth Western Australia and have been unable to make a positive identification. The T shaped marking on it’s thorax and the black and orange head markings are what have me perplexed. If you have time maybe you can help me. I do like to establish a positive ID on my photographic subjects.
Thanks,
Best regards,
Signature: Jill

Mason Wasp, we believe

Potter Wasp

Dear Jill,
Your impressive wasp resembles a Potter Wasp or Mason Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae, and it does bear a similarity to a species pictured on the Brisbane Insect Site that is identified as a Mason Wasp,
Abispa ephippium.  We believe your wasp may be a close relative as the markings are similar, but distinctly different.

Possibly Mason Wasp

Potter Wasp

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for you help once again.
When I first saw the wasp my immediate assumption was that it was a Potter Wasp or Mason Wasp. It was just those markings that had me confused, when I tried to confirm my assumption, as I couldn’t find any wasp, pictured or described, on the net with the same markings.
However I have since read there are many different species of Eumeninae, although the thorax marking of the Mason Wasp normally seems to be described and pictured with a distinct triangular black marking.  I think I will have to put it down to being a Mason Wasp as you suggest.  If I ever find do happen to find out it is something else, I will let you know.
Btw… Do you know the number of Bugs Anonymous?…. I think I have a problem.  I dreamt about this wasp last night. lol.  I was dreaming I was back at the spot where I photographed it, trying to get a better picture of it’s abdomen!
True! : ))
Until next time… happy bug watching!
Best regards,
Jill

Update
Hi again Daniel,
Today I sent the query of the T marked wasp to the Perth, Western Australia, Museum Entomology Dept and they say it is a Potter Wasp
Potter Wasp (Abispa ephippium)
So we can all sleep easy tonight. ; )
Thanks again for your help.
Best regards,
Jill

Hi Jill,
Thanks for confirming that the wasp you captured in images is a well documented species that usually has an entirely black thorax.

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Subject: Identification Needed!
Location: Georgia
December 1, 2014 7:56 pm
Hi! I am trying to identify numerous insects for an entomology course. My project is due in two days so I am desperate to identify these insects. Every insect I have came from the middle Georgia area and were found between August-November. Please identify as many as you can! I know the picture quality is not the best so even a guess will work! I will submit 3 photos per insect for you to see multiple views. I will be very grateful for your help!
Signature: Thank you so much!

Double Banded Scoliid

Double Banded Scoliid

We do not plan to call off work today to respond to your desperate plea to identify all the insects in the fifteen emails you sent last night.  We suggest that you use BugGuide and our own archives to do your own identifications based on the wealth of knowledge we are presuming you were taught in your course.  The most popular posting on our site continues to be What’s That Bug? Will Not Do Your Child’s Homework.  You need to pass (or fail) on your own.

Ed. Note:  This is a Double Banded Scoliid, Scolia bicincta, which can be verified on BugGuide.

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