Currently viewing the category: "Square Headed Wasps"
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Subject: Predation
Location: Andover, NJ
July 28, 2016 8:16 am
I was lurking around my butterfly garden this morning and happened to see this small wasp (Eumenine maybe?) subduing a large syrphid. Amazingly, the wasp took off with her prize with seemingly little effort!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Good Mornind Deborah,
What an amazing image.  This is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we believe that based on this image from BugGuide, that it is in the genus
Ectemnius.  According to BugGuide:  “most nest in decayed wood (logs, stumps), sometimes in sound wood; provision the nests with Diptera.”   The prey appears to be a Drone Fly.

Thanks so much, Daniel!  I was a bit off on my wasp ID, wasn’t I?  Even with multiple field guides, I still find it rather challenging to get the subfamily correct.  But it sure is fun trying!  I just wish our summers lasted longer – once winter comes, I’m lucky to find a shield bug.
Debbi

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Subject: Mystery wasp
Location: raymond james stadium FL
October 16, 2015 5:43 pm
based on some peoples opinions, I believe this might be Trypoxylon, but I wanted to here your opinion on it as well.
Thank you!
Signature: Cicada Lover

Square Headed Wasp

Square Headed Wasp

Dear Cicada Lover,
We believe that this is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae which is well represented on BugGuide.  Though the subfamily contains the genus
Trypoxylon, we cannot state with any certainty that is the correct classification.  Perhaps one of our readers will supply additional information.

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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.

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Subject: rose borer wasp?
Location: Floyd County Virginia
August 6, 2014 11:45 am
Cutting off some sickly stems of my knockout roses, I found the stem (about 1/2″ in diameter) to be hollow inside. I slit the stem lengthwise and found these guys inside. I looked them up using whatever search terms I could think of, but found nothing similar. The wasps (?) are about 1/4″+ in length, and they appeared to be newly “fledged”…just beginning to spread their wings. Perhaps they were about ready to bore their way out, having passed through their larval stage?
Signature: Laurel Pritchard

Small Carpenter Bees

Square Headed Wasps

Hi Laurel,
We didn’t think these seemed like the usual suspects, Small Carpenter Bees in the genus
Ceratina, so we checked with Eric Eaton.  Here is his response.

Eric Eaton identified Square Headed Wasps
Daniel:
These are square-headed wasps, family Crabronidae, and probably Ectemnius continuus.  They nest in pith like small carpenter bees, certain mason bees….but they stock the tunnels with paralyzed flies as food for their offspring.  So, still beneficial, just in a different way.
Eric

Square Headed Wasps

Square Headed Wasps

 

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Subject: Shower Wasp?
Location: Dallas, Texas
December 28, 2013 12:46 pm
It’s December in Texas, and this flying bug (and lots of its relatives) has recently shown up in our shower. We see about 2-4 a day. The shower has an exterior wall, but we can’t find any holes around the tile or windows. It doesn’t seem to be aggressive, but it does look like a stinger-type body. Ideas?
Signature: LN

Wasp

Wasp

Ed. Note:
We did not recognize this wasp and we thought the situation was odd, so we contacted Eric Eaton with the following.
Hi Eric,
Happy New Year.
This Wasp is from Dallas Texas.  The person keeps finding them in an  indoor shower with an outside wall.  They find two to four a day.  This does not look like a social wasp to me.  Can you identify at  least family and possibly species?
Thanks
Daniel

Hi, Daniel:
Happy New Year to you, too.
This wasp is not a social wasp, but a solitary one in the family Crabronidae, tribe Larrini.  It *might* be Tachytes or Larropsis for genus, but they are difficult to determine to genus without having the specimen in hand.  Don’t know why they are emerging indoors at this time of year, but they are *not* harmful.
Eric

Dear LN,
We sought some assistance from Eric Eaton with your request and his response is included.  According to BugGuide, the Square Headed Wasps in the subfamily Crabroninae:  “nest in hollow stems or in abandoned galleries in wood, others burrow in the ground. Prey is mostly flies, but some utilize other insects.”
  If you have sash windows, they might have emerged from a nest in the windowframe due to the warmth indoors.

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Wasp type bug – drillig holes
Location: North Vancouver, Canada
August 30, 2011 10:15 pm
We recently noticed loads of sawdust on our deck one morning, looked up to find a few little perfect round holes in a wood support beam outside our apartment. Since then we seen quite a few of these wasp like bugs coming and going through the holes. Not sure what they are though??.
Signature: S

Square Headed Wasps

Dear S.,
Many Solitary Bees, both native and introduced, nest in small holes in wood.  Though they are solitary Bees, they often nest in colonies with each female provisioning for her own offspring.  We believe these are Mason or Leaf Cutter Bees in the family Megachilidae, though we are not certain of the species.  We don’t believe the Bees have excavated the holes, but rather, they are utilizing the exit holes of some wood boring insect.  See BugGuide for additional photos and information on these fascinating Bees.  Gardeners who want to encourage native Bees to nest near plants that need to be pollinated might enjoy this informational Make a Bee Hotel web page. 

Square Headed Wasp

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Daniel:
Ah, well, they are not bees, for one thing!  These are square-headed wasps in the family Crabronidae, subfamily Crabroninae, and tribe Crabronini.  Genus?  Not sure, but Ectemnius and Lestica are both possibilities.  Ectemnius hunt flies, while Lestica hunt moths.
Eric

 

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