Currently viewing the category: "Horntails, Wood Wasps and Sawflies"
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Subject: Big winged black bug with long tail?
Location: Alfalfa, Oregon
September 26, 2016 8:51 am
Location: central Oregon
Seen: September 25, 2016
Signature: Sandy

Black Horntail

Black Horntail

Dear Sandy,
This is a female Horntail, a non-stinging relative of wasps that uses her long ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the bark of trees.  We believe your black Horntail is in the genus Sirex based on BugGuide images.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Disgusting looking critters…please help identify
Location: Melbourne, Laverton VIC footpath into Laverton P12 College
September 2, 2016 3:06 am
Was walking along Bladin Rd Melbourne VIC and saw this ‘clump’ just on footpath leading into Laverton College. A staff who has been there for last 27years said they are caterpillars but i am still curious if they really are caterpollars. Apparently they seemed to have come from the eucalypt tree near footpath.
Signature: Curious

Spitfires

Spitfires

Dear Curious,
These are Spitfires, a name used in Australia for the larvae of Sawflies, non-stinging relatives of bees and wasps whose larvae are often confused with caterpillars.  Based on the image used on the Australian Museum site, they may be Steel Blue Sawflies in the genus
Perga, and the site states:  “Steel-blue Sawfly larvae in the Sydney area feed on eucalypts.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Huntsville, Ontario.
August 8, 2016 7:08 pm
Could not identify this one. Wasp?
Thanks for any help you can offer.
No hurry.
Signature: Barry

Sawfly Sculpture

Sawfly Sculpture

Dear Barry,
When we opened the first of your images, we were so disoriented, we thought we were looking at an insect inspired sculpture, and not a real insect.  It wasn’t until we opened a second attached image that we realized we were looking at a dead Sawfly that had been posed, upended, with its legs functioning as the foundation of the “sculpture” and our orientation returned.  Your insect is an Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, and you can compare your dead individual to this image of a living specimen on BugGuide.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of wasps and bees, and Sawfly larvae are frequently confused for caterpillars.

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery bug
Location: Southern California – Murrieta
August 7, 2016 11:31 am
Please help me identify this bug. It seems to be tunneling out through the dry wall of my brand new house. It makes a perfectly round hole
Signature: Marilyn

Horntail:  Sirex nigricornis

Horntail: Sirex nigricornis

Dear Marilyn,
This is a Horntail, a type of Wood Wasp, in the family Siricidae, and we believe we have correctly identified it on BugGuide as a female
Sirex nigricornis.  According to BugGuide it has a range “across Canada (QC-AB-?BC) and the US south to FL-TX” and the larval food is “wide host range, mostly on various pines.”  Pine is a common building material, and our supposition is that there were larvae in pine logs that were used in the construction of your home, and when metamorphosis was complete, this individual emerged.  If that is the case, you may see more.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large strange insect in garden
Location: Heptonstall west Yorks Hx7 7ha
August 6, 2016 8:14 am
Found this large bug in kids blue tray in garden. Never seen anything like it. What is it and isn’t safe please . It is about 2 ich long. Has bright yellow eyes and a trail like. Thing st back
Signature: Joan Rutkowski

Great Wood Wasp

Great Wood Wasp

Dear Joan,
This is a Great Wood Wasp,
Urocerus gigas, and you can read more about it on UK Safari where it states:  “They’re sometimes called ‘Giant Horntails’ for obvious reasons.  The female Great Wood Wasp has a long pointed tube at the back of her body, and this is usually mistaken for a stinging organ.  In fact it’s an ovipositor, which she uses to lay her eggs in the trunks of coniferous trees.  Despite their slightly fearsome appearance, these insects are quite harmless.”

Thank you so much for that quick reply. Glad to know it is not harmful and we have let it loose in the conifer hedge

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Vermont fly
Location: Vermont
July 25, 2016 7:29 pm
Hey. My buddy was doing work in VT today andd saw this fly on the tower he’s working on. He is curious what it is. Thank you.
Signature: Dan H

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Dan,
This Elm Sawfly is actually a non-stinging relative of Bees and Wasps, and not a true fly.

Thank you for your quick reply. You nailed the identification. Thank you so much and keep up the great work!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination