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

Subject: Bodacious, Beautiful Wasp
Location: Brevard County (Titusville), FL
September 17, 2014 7:01 pm
Hello Big Folks,
We found this big, bodacious, beautiful wasp today (Sept. 17, 2014) while doing landscape work for a client. It’s big, nearly 2″ long and was very docile and tolerant as I hovered around it, mere inches away, taking photos and videos as it walked around on an Indian hawthorn shrub.
Can you tell me what it is? And everything there is to know about it? (<–ok, I realize that may be an unreasonable request, but this guy is awesome!)
Thanks so much, and also, thanks for this wonderful site. There is so much fascinating stuff here!
Signature: LG

Unknown Wasp

Unknown Wasp

Dear LG,
We had thought this would be an easy identification, but we are not having any luck, so we decided to enlist the assistance of Eric Eaton.  Initially we thought that this might be a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, but we struck out, though
Eremnophila aureonotata on BugGuide does have similar markings on the face.  In the interest of trying to post additional submissions this morning, we are going live with your request, waiting for Eric Eaton to get back to us, and hopefully provide you with an identification soon.  Perhaps some of our readers will have ideas.

Eric Eaton confirms family and gets more specific.
Daniel:
You are correct, this is a katydid hunter wasp, Sphex habenus.  It is not one of the more commonly-photographed species.
Species Sphex habenus – BugGuide.Net
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ant or mite?
Location: Sonoran Desert, Arizona
September 16, 2014 6:01 pm
Is this a Thistledown Velvet Ant? I stopped to take a break and my eye caught this little critter moving rather quickly on the trail. When I bent down to get a closer look, it stopped and put its rear end up at me. I moved to get a view of the front, but everywhere I went, this little guy turned its butt to me. This was the only photo it would let me get! This was on a trail at Granite Mountain in the Rio Verde Foothills area northeast of Scottsdale, in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Signature: Paige

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Paige,
We are confident that this is a Velvet Ant, but we cannot state for certain that it is a Thistledown Velvet Ant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Suffolk, VA 23432
September 13, 2014 6:11 pm
Can you tell me what this insect is?it looks lake a large black and red ant.
Signature: Thank you! John Lee

Cowkiller

Cow Killer

Dear John Lee,
Though this Cow Killer,
Dasymutilla occidentalis, is in the family with members commonly called Velvet Ants, they are actually flightless female wasps that are reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Pollinator for Orange Coneflower
Location: North Carolina, United States (near Chapel Hill)
September 14, 2014 8:36 am
Hello, I have recently been studying bugs and have been unable to identify the little bugger you see below. The bug itself seems to hang around the orange coneflower (rudbeckia fulgida) quite a bit and always lands on the outer extensions of the head of the flower before heading to the center portion. Thanks!
Signature: Connor McFadden

Possibly Square Headed Wasp

Possibly Square Headed Wasp

Dear Connor,
Your image is not sharp enough to be certain, but we believe this might be a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and it looks similar to this image posted to bugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cow Killer and the Close Call
Location: Washington-on-the-Brazos; Washington County, Texas
September 7, 2014 9:54 pm
Long story involving 1) hordes of hungry mosquitoes (who ignore or perhaps even enjoy the taste of Deep Woods Off), and 2) an epic storm front composed of towering purple cloud banks, lightning, and buckets of rain, caused our planned day at the beach in Galveston, Texas to evolve into a walking tour of historic Washington-on-the-Brazos in central Texas.
So, I’m walking in the grass near the Brazos River instead of on the crushed-granite path at the park because I’m wearing flip-flops intended for sandy-beach-walking and don’t want to get rock shards in my shoes. I look down just in time to see my bare toes dangerously close to this very fast-moving red and black velvety creature. Thanks to you and your informative website, I know that this is probably a cow killer, a velvet “ant” that’s really a female wasp with an agonizing sting!! I did a quick “jump back, Jack”, in time to save myself from a terrible sting.
Yeah. I opted to walk on the crushed rock pathways after that, keeping my eyes peeled for stinging insects.
Interesting day.
Thank you for the informative web site. You may have saved me from an agonizing sting, because I guarantee that I wouldn’t have known what this insect was without you.
Most of the photos that I took (from the relative safety of the pathway) are blurry because the insect was so fast in moving over, under, and around the leaves and grass.
Signature: Ellen

Cowkiller

Cowkiller

Dear Ellen,
Since you didn’t have a question, our response is short.  Thanks for sending us the account of your encounter with this Cowkiller.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mud Dauber with Araneus – Square Peg in a Round Hole!
Location: Thousand Hills State Park – Kirksville, MO
September 4, 2014 1:10 pm
Hi, Bugman!
I saw this rather interesting sight at work today. Apparently we have a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber nesting inside the hollows of our steel office door, and she has been getting in through a tiny gap above the door handle. I had seen a mud dauber hanging around the area, but didn’t realize there was one nesting there until I saw her on top of the door lever. At first I thought that she might be injured, but on closer inspection, she was trying to squeeze through the gap with a particularly rotund spider she had caught! I managed to snap some photos of the mud dauber doing some very amusing gymnastics, struggling to get the spider through the gap, before she left. Sadly, when she did give up and fly away, she did not drop the spider, which would have been helpful for identification! The most I can narrow down the spider is to the genus Araneus – which I realize, given the huge number of species under that umbrella, is like seeing an A-10 Warthog and identifying i t as ‘an aircraft of some kind.’ I was hoping you might have more luck in finding out what kind of spider our mud dauber had flown in, but, if not, then I simply hope you get a chuckle out of the photos.
Thanks!
Signature: EB

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Dear EB,
We absolutely love your images of a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber attempting to return to its nest with this substantial Orbweaver.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination