Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
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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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Hornet and nest???
Location: western Pennsylvania
May 28, 2014 9:31 am
My son and I watched a wasp or hornet create its intricate nest but are not sure which insect it is, so am seeking your wonderful help as I did so a few years ago with another insect. Thank you for any help you can give us.
Signature: Marge

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Dear Marge,
My that queen BaldFaced Hornet is building that nest fast.  She will soon have a first generation of sterile female workers who begin hunting for food and enlarging the nest, freeing her to just lay eggs.  Are you able to avoid this part of the house until the first frost?  If not, you should consider more drastic measures and evict her so she finds a more secluded location for her nest because, according to the Penn State University Entomology website:  “In Pennsylvania, a large colony will have upwards of 300 individuals.”  BaldFaced Hornets are capable of stinging repeatedly and they will defend the nest.
  We will be flying into Pittsburgh in the middle of June.

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Thank you Daniel,
You are right, she did build it fast.  I took photos and we watched almost every other hour.  (Few photos attached.)
We “evicted” her–sort of hated to do it, but that spot is on our back “stoop” and between my son cutting our grass and me working on 4 different gardens (I plant for birds, butterflies, etc.) we felt she needed to build her large but intricate nest/home somewhere else and wanted to evict her before she laid many or any eggs and started the process.  I don’t like to kill anything including bugs and their homes, so felt it better to encourage her to build elsewhere before she had a real home/palace : )
Thanks for your help, I did see that my oldest son had a fairly large nest in his backyard last year but it was not near where they were active themselves and we think it was “done” (at the beginning of fall).
Have a safe and joyful flight.
Marge from westernPA

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Hi Marge,
We believe the eviction was a smart move due to the heavy foot traffic at the site.  Because of your thoughtfulness, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: European Hornet, I think
Location: Bucks County, PA (In my car!)
May 13, 2014 7:34 pm
Hi there bug man!
Today I found this huge bug in my car. It couldn’t make it’s way out and people in the parking lot were gathered round with various solutions. Unfortunatly, it finally balled up and died. It looks like it was nesting in the door of my car. I’ve sent pictures and video. Sorry for the comentary but it freaked me out. Never saw one before! Could you tell me if I have identified this bug correctly? Thanks so much!
Signature: Judy “freaked-out” Sawyer

European Hornet

European Hornet

Dear Judy,
We agree that this is a European Hornet,
Vespa crabro, but we do not believe it was attempting to nest in your car.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination