Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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Subject: Weird Red Flying Insect
Location: Mill Creek, WA, USA
February 8, 2015 11:12 pm
Hi! I saw this bug quite a while ago on the side of my house. I just learned about your website so I thought I’d send in my pic! I hope you can help!!
Signature: What?

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear What?,
This is an Ichneumon, a parasitic wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, which according to BugGuide has:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates).  Your individual looks very similar to this member of the genus
Ophion from Idaho that is pictured on BugGuide.”

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Subject: Wasp?
Location: Wantirna, Victoria
February 6, 2015 8:03 pm
Hello,
I found this wasp in my melbourne backyard yesterday. It’s very bright and colorful, orange looks fluro bright and wings have a purple tinge to them. I looked up a few wasps on your site, some of the potters wasps look similar but none have the same markings. Do you know what it is?
Signature: Catherine

Probably Mason Wasp

Probably Mason Wasp

Dear Catherine,
We agree that your individual resembles the Potter and Mason Wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae, and though it resembles several individuals posted on the Brisbane Insect website, it is not an exact match for any of them.  We will continue to research this identification.  The antennae on your individual, which appear to arise from a light colored stalk, are quite distinctive.

Probably Mason Wasp

Probably Mason Wasp

Hi Daniel,
My father found a pic online which looks similar. It’s called a wasp-mimic bee
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Hyleoides+concinna#tab_gallery
However there isn’t must information about them online.
Very interesting for suburban Melbourne!

We do not believe the Wasp Mimic Bee is your species.  Based on images on the Brisbane Insect website, the closest match we can find is a Black Headed Mud Nesting Wasp, Pseudabispa or Epiodynerus sp.

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Subject:  Male Flower Wasp
Location: Oldbury Western Australia
January 31, 2015
Meanwhile I have a couple of pics of an identified wasp for your collection, that I will attach to this mail if you are interested, as a thank you.  I see you have a pic of the female, but didn’t see one of the male.  This is a male flower wasp from the family Tiphiidae as identified by the Western Australian Museum.  I fished him out of my dog’s water bowl.
Best regards,
Jill

Male Flower Wasp

Male Flower Wasp

Dear Jill,
We have created a distinct posting for your male Flower Wasp images, and we are thrilled that you submitted them.  We do have one additional image of a male Flower Wasp in the family Tiphidae from Australia, and that individual is from Wollongong.  Because of your kindness fishing this harmless creature from your dog’s water bowl, we are tagging the posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award

Flower Wasp

Flower Wasp

Thanks for the most honourable award Daniel.  Of course I love nature, so am actually a great crusader for saving creatures of all description.  The warm happy feeling I get from saving a life, no matter how inconsequential to some people, is reward enough. : )
I was really impressed with my son the other day, who had a huntsman spider run across his chest.. this scared the crap out of him (and no doubt also the spider), but rather than bang her on the head, he found a mop and coaxed her on board and took her outside to live out her days.  I was very happy that I probably have influenced his kindness and understanding of nature. : )
I will stick to one bug at a time in submission in future as requested.
Thanks again for everything.  You have a wonderful website.
Best regards,
Jill

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Subject: Black Velvet Ant and ?
Location: Oldbury Western Australia
January 31, 2015 5:49 am
Hi again,
I could write to you just about every day asking about one bug or another, but I don’t like to BUG you too much! LOL… sorry… anyhow…
I’m pretty certain second pic of a wingless wasp is a Black Velvet Ant (seems like a dumb name when it’s not an ant), although I don’t know the exact species name.
I was mainly wondering, given the colour resemblance, if the first winged wasp is the male of the same species? They were both photographed on my property just south of Perth in Australia a day apart. If I am guessing wrong please correct me. Thanks. With appreciation,
Signature: Jill Wozhere

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Jill,
We believe your identification of a female, flightless Velvet Ant is correct, and your individual resembles the example from the genus
 Bothriomutilla that is posted on the Brisbane Insect website.  We do not believe the winged wasp is a male of the species, but we cannot provide an identification at this time.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps, and Ants and Wasps are actually members of the same order and the common name Velvet Ant refers to the resemblance and flightlessness of the female.

Wasp

Wasp

Thank you Daniel for your reply and the interesting information. Personally I still think they shouldn’t call it an ant if it isn’t actually an ant, but I won’t make a federal case out of it.  If you find out the species of the other wasp, please let me know.
Best regards,
Jill

Hi Daniel,
Further to the unidentified wasp in one of the previous pic I sent… I’m guessing now that it is a female spider wasp from the family Pompilidae.
I figure it’s a female, because I also found I had a pic *yes I took it and yes you’re welcome to have it, of mating wasps and with it being at the bottom, it just stands to reason it’s the female. (male has red abdomen and female has larger eye) Pic attached.
What do you think?

Mating Wasps may be Spider Wasps

Mating Wasps may be Spider Wasps

Hi again Jill,
We agree that the mating wasps look like the same species as the single wasp image you submitted, and we also agree that they might be Spider Wasps.  We do have a favor to request regarding future submissions.  Please limit your submissions to one species per submission form and please use a new submission form for each submission.  I really complicates our ability to post and archive submissions when multiple species occur in one email, and adding additional images to an existing email chain further complicates the posting process.
  We will create a new posting for the Flower Wasp.

 

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Subject: Insect identification South Africa
Location: wellington, western cape, South Africa
January 30, 2015 12:16 am
Hi there, we found this insect on the farm that we live on in the western cape. It appears that he kills spiders larger than himself and then carries them away to eat. He has very long legs. Please could you help identify him?
Signature: Jody

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Jody,
This is a rather distant view is of a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and there are several Australian relatives that look very similar.  We believe this may be a member of the genus
Hemipepsis based on this image on iSpot.  In North America, the genus members are called Tarantula Hawks.  Your interpretation of the natural drama you witnessed is not correct.  The female Tarantula Hawk does the hunting.  Both she and her mate visit blossoms for nectar, and the high sugar content gives them energy to mate and provide for their young.  All provisions are the responsibility of the female, who hunts large spiders, including Trapdoor Spiders and Wolf Spiders as well as Huntsman Spiders and Tarantulas.  The Spider Wasp stings and paralyzes the spider, and then drags it back to the burrow where a single egg is laid on the spider.  Since the spider is paralyzed and not dead, the meat stays fresh while the wormlike Wasp Larva eats first nonessential muscles before turning to the vital organs, eating the spider alive.

Thank you so much, Daniel!  That is most fascinating!  I really appreciate you getting back to me and sharing your knowledge with me!
Best regards,
Jody

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Subject: Mystery wasp
Location: Cuba
January 5, 2015 10:24 am
I took these photos of this spectacular-looking insect in Cuba on December 11th last year. It was big – I suppose around 4 inches long.
Having done a lot of searching on the net, I have not found any photos of an insect exactly like this one. It resembles pictures of tarantula wasps, but none of the others I’ve seen have the same colouring or the segmented yellow antennae. I did discover that there are tarantula wasp mimics, so perhaps this bug is a mimic?
I hope you can help me.
Thanks in advance
Signature: Mary

Spider Wasp, Probably Tarantula Hawk

Spider Wasp, Probably Tarantula Hawk

Dear Mary,
This is a gorgeous Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and it could well be a species of Tarantula Hawk.
  Your individual looks very similar to Pepsis menechma which is pictured on BugGuide.  In 2006, we posted this image of a Cuban Tarantula Hawk, but alas, it does not show the antennae.  We are postdating your submission to go live during our absence from the office next week.

Most likely Tarantula Hawk

Most likely Tarantula Hawk

Ah yes, I did see the dried-up bug photo and wondered if it had looked like mine when alive. You’re right my blue bug was gorgeous and I was very lucky to see it on my last morning before leaving to fly back to England.
Many thanks for your help, Daniel.
Mary

Spider Wasp, most likely Tarantula Hawk

Spider Wasp, most likely Tarantula Hawk

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