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

Subject: Are these wasp larvae on a laurel sphinx caterpillar?
Location: Michigan
August 27, 2015 6:21 pm
I found this intriguing caterpillar today, and I think it is a laurel sphinx caterpillar. But what are those things on its back? Could those be wasp larvae?
Signature: J. McGuire

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Dear J. McGuire,
We agree that this is a Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar, and it does appear to have parasites, however, the parasitoid looks very different from the typical Braconid infestation pictured on Featured Creatures that is typically seen on the Laurel Sphinx and other Hornworms.  We will continue to try to locate a similar looking image and try to identify the species of Parasitoid.

Kimberly Wochele, Tynisha Koenigsaecker, Sue Dougherty, Mary Lemmink Lawrence liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Digger Wasp? Dangerous?
Location: Orange, Essex County, NJ
August 25, 2015 10:38 am
Here are a few pix of this multi-colored wasp-like/-looking thing in my front garden. This is a pic of the first one. I saw one or two others. It seems to really like the ripe raspberries… far more than it likes the tomato flowers.
I am lethally allergic to bee stings and wasp stings. Is this thing dangerous to me? I stop breathing, if untreated, in 12 seconds after being stung… and again about 15 minutes after injection with my first dpi-pen. This one didn’t exhibit any interest, or even fear, at my getting close enough to take the pix with my iPhone.
Thanks.
Signature: Stephanie

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Stephanie,
Thanks so much for taking the time to take your comment and submit a query with images, and though your image quality is quite poor, the distinctive coloration of the Blue Winged Wasp or Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, makes is identity quickly identifiable.  The gap in time between your comment and your query has allowed us to contemplate the matter a bit and we can’t help but to wax philosophically on the topic.

You ask:  “Is this thing dangerous to me?” so we turned to BugEric who writes:  “Males cannot sting, and females are loathe to sting unless physically molested.”  Not resisting the temptation to pick up or eat this Digger Wasp might provoke a sting from 50% of their population.  We cannot imagine you attempting either of those two possibilities.  We suspect your condition might be making you overly cautious, but again, we concur that there is always a possibility of being stung.  How great is that possibility?  We feel it is quite minimal.  According to the University of Florida Extension paper by E.E. Grissell:  “Male scoliids are frequently seen cruising close to the ground in irregular figure eight patterns (Krombein, personal communication).  A dozen or so may be skimming the soil’s surface, but not be noticed until the eye becomes accostomed to their presence.  According to Iwata (1976) a female will land and dig into the soil using first her mandibles and then her fore- and midlegs.”  Recognizing the behavior of the sexes may help you to become more aware of the difference between the physical impossibility of being stung verses a minimal chance that you might be stung.

Sue Dougherty, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant wasp
Location: Middle of, Ontario canada
August 24, 2015 10:16 am
Can you identify this bug?
Signature: I dont know what this means

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

This is a Pigeon Horntail, a species of Wood Wasp.  The female uses her ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the bark of unhealthy trees.  Pigeon Horntails do not sting.

Marieke Bruss, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Ann Levitsky liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red looking ant, no fuzz
Location: Ct
August 21, 2015 12:58 pm
Found a few of these near my sons sandbox and wondering if they sting.
Signature: Allison

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Allison,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp and they do sting, and the sting is reported to be painful, but not dangerous.  There are many similar looking species and this looks like it might be  
Dasymutilla gibbosa based on this BugGuide image.

Ann Levitsky liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible stink bug eating red caterpillar
Location: Livingston County, MI
August 22, 2015 8:26 pm
Found this hanging off a leaf in a meadow behind my house. I think the bug is some sort of stinkbug but I have not been able to find a match online. No idea on the caterpillar type.
Signature: Cheryl E.

Predatory Stink Bug Nymph eats Sawfly Larva

Predatory Stink Bug Nymph eats Sawfly Larva

Dear Cheryl,
This is a Predatory Stink Bug nymph, possibly in the genus
Apoecilus based on this BugGuide image, but it is not feeding on a caterpillar.  The prey is a Sawfly larva in the family Argidae, and we have a visual match to Arge coccinea thanks to this BugGuide image.

Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Hardyville Kentucky
August 19, 2015 6:43 pm
These have been gathering in my backyard in the mornings. Seems that they are after the dew on the grass. I first thought they were dirt dobbers but I saw a few just chilling on my fence this afternoon and this is the picture. Thanks
Signature: Cheryl

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Cheryl,
We are pleased to see your image of a living Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and to read your positive attitude about it because these docile, solitary wasps are frequently targeted for Unnecessary Carnage like the dead Digger Wasp we posted a few days back.  The female Digger Wasp lays her eggs on subterranean beetle grubs including the invasive Japanese Beetle, so Digger Wasps are a gardener’s friend.

Ann Levitsky, Lake Eleni liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination