Currently viewing the category: "Horntails, Wood Wasps and Sawflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: WTB
Location: Seattle wa
July 20, 2014 7:13 pm
found this in my backyard. there as only one that i have ever seen
Signature: Rae Ann

Horntail:  Urocerus albicornis

Horntail: Urocerus albicornis

Hi Rae Ann,
We are positively thrilled to be able to post your magnificent image of a very impressive Horntail,
Urocerus albicornis, a species with a range limited to the Pacific Northwest.  Horntails are classified in the order Hymenoptera which includes Ants, Bees and Wasps, but Horntails, which are frequently called Woodwasps, cannot sting.  The female uses her impressive ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the surface of trees or stumps, and the wood boring larvae feed on the wood.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include fir, larch, spruce, pine, Douglas-fir, hemlock, and western red cedar.”  Of the family, BugGuide notes:  “Some are serious pests of trees and spread as larvae with lumber trade.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mason Wasp?
Location: Western Pennsylvania
July 21, 2014 12:02 am
I found this on a walk through the woods today and after thorough investigation, I couldn’t quite find a match to any other wasp. The blue tinted wings and black/white body pattern lead me to believe it’s a mason wasp(?), although I don’t know enough about bees/wasps/hornets to confirm. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but the legs and antennae were both bright yellow, which I have yet to see on a Google search of any other. Help me identify? Thanks!
Signature: c.g.

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear c.g.,
This is an Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, and though Sawflies are classified in the same order, Hymenoptera, as Wasps, they are not true wasps and they do not sting.  The larvae of the Elm Sawfly are frequently mistaken for Caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black and White Herringbone Caterpillar
Location: Western Massachusetts
July 21, 2014 8:12 am
Bugman,
We found this guy in our native butterfly garden and after researching with fields guides, we still can’t seem to figure him out. We found it around aster and nettles and various native plant species. It likes to coil up like it is pictured.
Thanks so much!
Signature: Project Native

Unidentified Caterpillar

Sawfly Larva

Dear Project Native,
We have delayed posting your images while we unsuccessfully attempted to identify your Caterpillar.
  Our best guess is that this might be an Owlet Caterpillar closely related to the Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars in the genus Cucullia, which feed on asters, but none of the examples posted to BugGuide look exactly like your individual.  According to BugGuide, the larvae are:  “usually smooth (hairless) and very colorful, with mixed patterns of spots, stripes, and/or patches of mostly yellow, red, green, blue, and black – the range of variation between species is too complex to describe in general terms.”  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.

Unidentified Caterpillar

Sawfly Larva

Daniel,
I believe we figured out what our insect was. It is a type of sawfly larvae Tenthredo grandis
Here it is on bugguide http://bugguide.net/node/view/213637
It makes sense as it was near the turtle head.
Thanks,
Project Native

Dear Project Native,
Thanks for getting back to us on this.  We had considered that it might be a Sawfly Larva, but there was a difficulty in seeing the legs because of the way the individual was curled in your images and we only can devote so much time to research.  We are correcting the posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big flying bug in western PA
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
July 19, 2014 11:06 pm
Hi – I’ve attached a photo of a flying bug that I found on my porch in Pittsburgh, PA. It was about two inches long – I’ve never seen anything like it ever.
Thanks!
Signature: Yinzer

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

Dear Yinzer,
This impressive creature is a Wood Wasp known as a Pigeon Horntail.  Your individual is a female and the organ that looks like a stinger is actually her ovipositor, which is used to deposit eggs  beneath the bark of dead and dying trees.  The larva are wood borers.  Pigeon Horntails do not sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly?
Location: Lynnwood, WA
July 7, 2014 6:24 pm
Hello,
this “caterpillar” was found outside of my work. I kept it in a jar with dirt and leaves and sticks, within days it made what looks like a cocoon. But it doesn’t look like any cocoon I’ve ever seen.
Signature: Clarissa Fitting

Elm Sawfly larva

Elm Sawfly larva

Dear Clarissa,
This is not a caterpillar.  We hope you are not disappointed to learn that this is an Elm Sawfly Larva and not a caterpillar, because it is an easy mistake to make.  We are very excited because though we have numerous images of both the larva and the adult Elm Sawfly, your documentation is the first image we have received of the cocoon and pupa of an Elm Sawfly.  The adult Elm Sawfly looks like a large bee, and Sawflies are classified along with Ants, Bees and Wasps in the order Hymenoptera, but unlike its relatives, the Elm Sawfly does not sting and is perfectly harmless.

Elm Sawfly Cocoon

Elm Sawfly Cocoon

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: No idea what this monster of a bug is, HELP!
Location: North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Canada.
July 5, 2014 3:19 pm
Hello. this was found in North Battleford, Saskatchewan today. I’ve never seen it before around here. It looks like the stuff of nightmares. Please let me know what this is I’m dealing with !
Signature: Amzin

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Amzin,
The harmless Elm Sawfly is somewhat frightening in appearance because of its large size and the resemblance to stinging bees and wasps which are also members of the same order Hymenoptera, but the Elm Sawfly is incapable of stinging.  The larvae of the Elm Sawfly are often confused for caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination