Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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Subject: Stinging flying insect.
Location: Mesa Arizona
August 18, 2014 1:26 pm
I was stung today by these lovely little guys, when I went to insect identification and clicked Arizona, I however was at a loss to find them! The nest is smaller than a baseball and they’re probably only 1 1/2 inches in length (not that I got close enough to measure) I was wondering if you could help my figure out just who’s living in my hedge bush!
Signature: Lynn

Paper Wasp Nest

Paper Wasp Nest

Dear Lynn,
These are Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes, and they are social wasps that build nests.  Generally, solitary wasps are not aggressive, but social wasps will defend the nest.  With that said, Paper Wasps are not as aggressive as Yellowjackets or Hornets, but they will still defend the nest.  We believe your individuals are Polistes flavus based on images posted to BugGuide.

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Subject: Any ideas what this is?
Location: Buffalo, NY
August 17, 2014 9:10 pm
Does anyone have a clue what this flying bug is? Not sure if it came from the pine logs I was cutting but it also appears to have a stinger
Signature: Nick

Black and Red Horntail

Black and Red Horntail

Dear Nick,
Though we have no shortage of other Horntails on our site, including the Pigeon Horntail, this is the first example we are posting of a Black and Red Horntail,
Urocerus cressoni.  Horntails are Wood Wasps and the larvae bore in wood of dead and dying trees.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include Fir, Spruce, and Pine (Abies, Picea, Pinus).”  

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Subject: Curious Large
Location: Hastings, MI
August 17, 2014 9:51 am
Hi,
My mom and I found this bug on a dead tree stump where there are a ton of Stump Stabbers around. The next day I found it dead on another area of the stump. I didn’t think it was a wasp since it does not have the separated thorax. It is a bit scary since it was so big, but I’m just wondering what it is since my 13 year old daughter has more curiosity than what is good for her.
Signature: Nervous Mom

PIgeon Horntail

PIgeon Horntail

Hi Nervous Mom,
You have no need to fear this Pigeon Horntail, because even though it is a Wood Wasp, they do not sting.  The female uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the surface of dead and dying trees and the larvae are wood borers.  Interestingly, the presence of Stump Stabbers makes perfect sense as the larvae of Stump Stabbers parasitize the larvae of Pigeon Horntails.  This particular female did not mature properly as her wings appear to have atrophied.

Thanks Daniel,
That is so incredibly interesting.  We see the Stump Stabber’s all the time but have never seen the Pigeon Horntail there.  We are around this stump all the time (it is huge) since my herb garden surrounds a small portion of it.  Now we don’t have to be afraid.
Thanks again,
Jenn

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Megascolia maculata, mammoth wasp in Ontario?
August 15, 2014 5:18 pm
Hello,
Is there a subspecies of Megascolia maculata, not cicada killer, known to live in Eastern Ontario? Will send photos later if need be.
Signature: Noah

There are European Hornets.

Hi there,
I am trying to identify the species in the photo I’ve attached. It looks closest to photos of European/Eurasian mammoth wasps that I’ve seen.
Noah Cole

Double Banded Scoliid

Double Banded Scoliid

Dear Noah,
This Scarab Hunter Wasp is a Double Banded Scoliid,
Scolia bicincta.  According to BugGuide:  “No doubt a parasitoid of beetle larvae, as are other members of this genus.”

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Subject: Yellow wasp
Location: Taitung, Taiwan
August 14, 2014 8:34 am
This wasp was very busy getting nectar from the flowers on my dads tree, so I managed to get a few shots of it. I don’t know what kind of wasp it is, whether it’s dangerous or not. Either way, I left it alone after getting the photos.
Signature: Rebecca

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Dear Rebecca,
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, but we are not certain of the species.  We suspect that Paper Wasps in Taiwan behave much like Paper Wasps in other parts of the world.  Some species are more aggressive than others, but solitary individuals gathering nectar do not pose much of a threat to humans.  Paper Wasps are social wasps that build a nest, and they will defend a nest against a potential threat, so we would strongly urge people not to disturb the nest of a Paper Wasp.  According to BugGuide, which deals with North American species:  “Semi-social wasps. Unlike social (eusocial) wasps, where workers are sterile females, in Polistes all females are potential breeders. (See comments below for details.) Fertilized queens overwinter in crevices or under bark. In spring they build a nest and the colony builds up over the summer. At first, only workers (sterile females) are produced. Mature colonies have up to 30 adults. A young queen is the sole survivor of the colony. (I am presuming this queen disperses to find an unrelated male on flowers in the fall.)”  BugGuide also notes:  “Not as aggressive as Hornets, Yellowjackets. May be considered beneficial to gardeners because of predation on herbivorous insects.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

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Subject: Shiny green fly/bee?
Location: China Spring, Texas
August 14, 2014 2:05 am
I have only seen this bug twice in 3 years, both times in the summer. Its antenna move very fast, and I found out they are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Not very good pics I know, just tell me what else you need from me to identify? He’s not aggressive at all and is actually very beautiful up front.
Signature: WeirdKitty

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear WeirdKitty,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae, and the common name arises, according to BugGuide, because of:  “the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts.”  Cuckoo Wasps are harmless to humans as they cannot sting.

Oh thank you very much!!
That’s pretty interesting, I will definitly be doing more research. Thank you!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination