Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
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Subject: Hornet or Wasp
Location: Kannapolis NC
May 20, 2015 11:40 pm
This giant thing was trying to make a nest in my paper lamp! It was huge and looked pretty dangerous…we let it go outside…maybe not the best decision?!
May 2015 location NC.
Signature: MForrest

European Hornet

European Hornet

Dear MForrest,
This is a European Hornet,
Vespa crabro, and introduced species.  You may read more about the European Hornet on the Penn State Entomology page where it states:  “”The European or giant hornet is an introduced species first reported in the United States in 1840 in New York. Currently, its geographical range extends from the Northeastern states west to the Dakotas, and south to Louisiana and Florida. It belongs to a family of wasps called the vespids, which encompass all of the yellowjackets including the bald-faced hornets. Technically, the European hornet is the only true hornet in North America and is large and will aggressively defend their nests. Homeowners should be cautious when attempting to manage this hornet.

Thank you!
I have a young child.  This makes me very concerned…we will be cautious and keep an eye out for anymore.

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Subject: curious…
Location: north nj
May 12, 2015 9:26 pm
Can’t figure out if this is a European wasp, or a Japanese wasp. I’m in North Jersey.
Signature: adam minick

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi Adam,
This is a European Hornet and we believe it is a queen.  According to BugGuide:  “Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new nest. They build the nest with chewed wood pulp, and a few eggs are laid in individual paper cells; these eggs develop into non-reproductive workers. When 5-10 workers have emerged, they take over the care of the nest, and the rest of queen’s life is devoted solely to egg laying. The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.  The nest reaches its peak size towards mid September. At this time the queen lays eggs that develop into males (drones) and new queens, she then dies shortly after. The new queens and males mate during a ‘nuptial flight’, after which the males die, and the newly mated queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate; the old nest is never re-used.”

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Subject: Indian or Hobomok skipper?
Location: Great Falls Park, Virginia
August 24, 2014 4:27 pm
Looking at various sources, I am not sure one can tell the difference, but do you have an opinion as to whether this is an Indian or Hobomok Skipper? Both look just like what I photographed as far as I can see. No other angles, unfortunately, as didn’t move until it flew off. I am also attaching a photo of what presumably is a Cicada Killer Wasp (it was after all, killing an Annual Cicada!), mainly because it has a great deal more yellow than any photo I can find – is this just natural variation? A difference between the sexes? Or is there a sub-species I haven’t seen mentioned?
Signature: Seth

European Hornet kills Cicada

European Hornet kills Cicada

Hi Seth,
We will address the Skipper question later, but most Skippers look alike to our untrained eye.  What you have mistaken for a Cicada Killer with prey is actually an invasive, exotic European Hornet, a formidable predator that can take down very large prey.
  According to BugGuide:  “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young.”  There is also this elaboration:  “The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.”

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Subject: what kind of bug is this?
Location: Newark, DE in the United States
August 5, 2014 11:46 am
My kids have been telling me about this crazy looking bug that has been eating bees in our back yard. But I have never seen one personally until today my son pointed one out with a bee captured in its mouth while both are captured in a spider Web! If you could identify this so I can explain to them I would greatly appreciate it alot. Plus for my knowledge also. Thank you greatly and Good bless.
Signature: Pyle Boys

Spider eats Hanging Thief eats Yellowjacket

Spider eats Hanging Thief eats Yellowjacket

Dear Pyle Boys,
We need to begin by telling you we love your documentation of a multi-link Food Chain.  We only wish your image was sharp enough and detailed enough for us to be able to identify the Spider.  The flying predator is a type of Robber Fly known as a Hanging Thief in the genus
Diogmites.  The Hanging Thief gets its common name because it often hangs from one leg while eating the large winged prey, often bees or wasps, that it captures on the wing.  The prey in question is not a bee, but a Yellowjacket.

Multi-Link Food Chair:  Spider eats Fly eats Wasp

Multi-Link Food Chair: Spider eats Fly eats Wasp

I am gonna attach a few more pics of the spider close up and hopefully this can help. And thank you for clearing up the curiosity for me and my sons! And glad you like the food chain effect my son thought it was cool how life works. Thanks again!

Possibly Common House Spider

Possibly Common House Spider

Thanks for sending the additional images, but unfortunately, the images are not critically sharp and it also appears that the color is decidedly cyan/blue, which makes the subtle coloration on the spider difficult to distinguish.  The Hanging Thief and Yellowjacket were quite obvious, but not so with the spider, which may be a Common House Spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum.  You can see the resemblance to this individual on Bugguide.

 

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Subject: Can’t identify this insect
Location: Derbyshire5
June 3, 2014 8:51 am
Spotted the other day on a seat at creswell crags I n Derbyshire. Just curious to find out what it is if you can help
Signature: John

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi John,
This is a European Hornet,
Vespa crabro, and we believe this is a queen gathering wood pulp for her nest.  Soon, when her first generation of workers are able to leave the nest, she will remain in the nest and produce more eggs.  We found a fascinating website called Hornets: Gentle Giants that you might enjoy reading.

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Subject: This is the Stuff of Nightmares
Location: Boquete, Panama
June 1, 2014 8:12 am
Hi Bugman!
I live in Boquete, Panama and found this nest in the tree outside my house. I know that insects are fun and interesting, but the sight of this nest gives me the creeps. Can you tell me what kind of creature builds such a nest and feels that they can hang out by my porch like they own the place?
Signature: ~Cate

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest

Hi Cate,
This appears to be a Hornet Nest, but we cannot make out individual insects well enough in your image to provide an exact identification.

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