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

Subject: bug identification
Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
February 8, 2016 5:32 am
Please could you take a look at the attached picture of an insect which was in my friends house and identify it for her please? Apparent his is the second one she has had. It looks like some sort of bee to me but I’m not sure.
Signature: Nicola Bailey-Berry

Common Wasp

Common Wasp

Dear Nicola,
Today we learned that insects known as Yellow Jackets in North America are called Common Wasps in England.  We identified your Common Wasp,
Vespula vulgaris, thanks to the iSpot site where it states:  ” The common wasp usually forms large colonies below ground, but occasionally nests may be made in wall cavities, hollow trees and attics. Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new colony. She then begins to build the nest with chewed up wood pulp, which dries to make a papery substance. A few eggs are laid, which develop into non-reproductive workers. These workers eventually take over the care of the nest, and the queen’s life is then devoted solely to egg laying. At the end of autumn a number of eggs develop into new queens and males, which leave the nest and mate. The new queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate, and the males and the old colony (including the old queen) die.”  We suspect the individual found by your friend is a hibernating queen that will soon begin to construct her own nest when the weather warms.  North American Yellow Jackets, and we suspect your Common Wasp as well, are not normally aggressive, though they will defend the nest by stinging any perceived or actual threats.  Getty Images has a nice image of a nest of Common Wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
January 29, 2016 1:29 pm
Hi bugman,
I am a service manager for a pest management company in Pittsburgh. We have a current issue with an insect in a restaurant. It is tiny with wings and is attracted to light. They are finding them along the windows along storefront and in light fixtures on first floor. No activity in basement. No second floor. Some old barn wood is inside but it has been there for several years. It appears to have an ovipositor.
Signature: thank you, Joe Ryan

Unknown Parasitic Hymenopteran

Unknown Parasitic Hymenopteran

Dear Joe,
We are not certain we will be able to provide more than a very general identification.  This is some species of Parasitic Hymenopteran, and the prominent ovipositor is used by the female to lay eggs.  Finding them indoors leads us to believe that they are preying upon some other insect or arthropod that is living in the restaurant.  Though this insect does not present a problem, it is a sign that there is something else living in the restaurant that is providing food.  Cockroaches would be a likely food source, but this is most definitely NOT an Ensign Wasp, a species that parasitizes the oothecae or egg sacs of Cockroaches.  You can try browsing the pages of BugGuide for Parasitic Hymenopterans. 

Thanks for the reply Daniel.
Although this restaurant has had problems in the past with Oriental roaches in the basement there has not been any activity reported for a year. None of these insects were found in basement along windows. I have some samples on a monitoring trap that I have to get to our Univar rep.
thanks again.
Joe

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Subject: Redhead with white tip on tail
Location: Sabang, Palawan, Philippines
February 1, 2016 2:43 am
Hi, we saw this strange bug in remnant of tropical rainforest in Palawan, Philippines. Any ideas what it is?
Signature: Lyn and Andrew

Possibly Ichneumon from Philippines

Stephanid Wasp from Philippines

Dear Lyn and Andrew,
This really is an unusual looking insect, and though we are unable to provide you with a species identity, we can tell you it is a Parasitic Hymenopteran, possibly a member of the family Braconidae, the Braconid Wasps or the family Ichneumonidae, the Ichneumon Wasps.  We will continue to try to research its identity and perhaps we will get some assistance from our readership.  The bright red head is very distinctive, and the white tipped tail is actually the ovipositor the female uses to lay her eggs.  Parasitic Hymenopterans prey upon a vast array of insects, including butterflies, moths, cockroaches spiders, often attacking the immature stages like eggs, larvae and pupae.

Many thanks Daniel. I kept researching myself – ? gasteruptidae? Thoughts? Lyn

Hi again Lyn,
The general shape of a Carrot Wasp in the family Gasteruptidae looks very close, but we cannot find any images with such a distinctive red head.

Update:  Stephanid Wasp
We received a comment informing us that this wasp is in the family Stephanidae, and we have members of the family in our archives from North America that are called Crown of Thorns Wasps.  The submitted image looks very similar to images of the Crown Wasp,
Megischus insularis, that are posted on Nature Love You.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp type
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
January 29, 2016 8:40 pm
Hi. Found a new wasp sp. in my backyard. Looks somewhat like a Popper Wasp, back lacks yellow legs etc. Any thoughts?
Signature: Tim D

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Dear Tim,
This is a Bottlebrush Sawfly,
Pterygophorus cinctus, and we previously misidentified as possibly a Potter Wasp ourselves once.  Your image is quite beautiful.

Thanks Daniel!
I’ve been having a bit of a influx of fly/wasp type sp. into my inner suburban Melbourne (Aust) backyard this summer, including Banded Beefly, Wasp-mimic Hoverfly, as well as other more common hoverfly and butterflies such as Common Darts. Very unusual but very fascinating!
Cheers,
Tim

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Subject: Hornet? Wasp? Mimic? Central FL, mid-Jan.
Location: Palm Bay, FL (Brevard County)
January 29, 2016 3:42 pm
Hello,
We live in east central Florida, and this beautiful insect was in our hibiscus plant recently (January, temps in upper 60’s). I have looked for hours and can’t identify it… the reddish colors and pattern don’t quite match any of the hornets, yellowjackets, wasps, or moths I’ve been able to find online. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is actually a wasp mimicking moth. It certainly wasn’t aggressive at all. Any thoughts on what this is?
Thanks,
Signature: Mike W.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Dear Mike,
We believe this is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and it is most likely a light colored Polistes major like this individual from Georgia that is pictured on BugGuide.  We will check with Eric Eaton and get his opinion.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Eric Eaton Confirms ID.
Hi, Daniel:
Wow, great images!  Yes, this is a male Polistes major.  Male specimens of many Polistes appear paler in some cases than the female.  I also think these images were taken in very harsh light, which washes out the color on most insects.
Cheers,
Eric

Thank you! I have to agree that this seems to match my photos almost perfectly. The fact it’s an invasive species would certainly help explain why I had such a hard time figuring it out. But as long as it’s here, at least it’s attractive to look at! :)
Thanks again,
Mike

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasps or Hornets in winter
Location: Connecticut
January 28, 2016 7:58 am
A couple days ago, I was walking in my front yard and I saw a wasp/hornet/yellow jacket walking on top of the snow…
I live in central Connecticut, so it seemed a bit odd because I’ve never seen that before in my 44 years here.
Is this normal?
Thanks,
Signature: Michael

Paper Wasp in the Snow

European Paper Wasp in the Snow

Dear Michael,
We suspect this unusual sighting of a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes in the snow is related to the unseasonably warm weather experienced by much of the eastern U.S. through the end of 2015.  We are relatively certain this is an introduced European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula, which is described on BugGuide as:  “No other species of Vespidae has mostly orange antennae.”  Because of the snow, your images were underexposed, but if the images are lightened, the antennae do appear to be orange.  BugGuide also notes:  “Only females are able to overwinter. Some ‘workers’ of previous season are able to survive and act as auxiliary females for the foundresses, provided the quiescent phase has been short enough. ”  You did not indicate what the temperatures were like on the day you took the images, but we are suspecting it was a warmer day, with temperatures above freezing, despite snow still being on the ground.  If the late start to winter allowed the nest to remain active considerably later in the season, and this individual survived a short “quiescent phase”, then it is possible she set out from the nest on a warm winter day.  BugGuide also notes:  “An introduced species from Eurasia, often mistaken for a yellow jacket. First reported in North America by G.C. Eickwort in 1978 near Boston, Massachusetts.  There are reports of it replacing native species of wasps in some areas,” which is prompting us to tag this as an Invasive Exotic, especially since the BugGuide range in quite extensive in North America considering the species has been reported here for less than 40 years.

Paper Wasp in the Snow

European Paper Wasp in the Snow

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination