Currently viewing the category: "Horntails, Wood Wasps and Sawflies"
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Subject: Black Wasp?
Location: Southern Ontario
July 1, 2015 1:03 pm
Hello! We live in Southern Ontario and my dad found this black and pale yellowish wasp in a bush while he was setting up a fence. To me it looks like a Urocerus gigas, but there are some different markings on it that a Urocerus gigas would not normally have, I know its a wood wasp of some sort but im not too sure. That would be helpful if you could identify this bug. Thanks. :)
Signature: Thanks!

Wood Wasp

Wood Wasp

You are close.  You have the genus correct but not the species.  Your Wood Wasp is Urocerus albicornis.

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Subject: Bee with yellow tipped antenna
Location: Fairbanks, AK
May 30, 2015 6:30 pm
I found this unfamiliar bug on my deck. I’ve never seen one before . It’s larger than the usual yellow jacket.
Signature: Sarah

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Sarah,
Though this Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, is related to bees and wasps by being classified in the same order, the Elm Sawfly is incapable of stinging.  We received two recent identification requests for Elm Sawflies, and because the other submission included images of the living insect, we featured that posting as our Bug of the Month for June 2015 though it appears it was also selected as the Bug of the Month for April 2013.  Your submission is nonetheless quite important as we get very few submissions from Alaska.

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Thank you! I saw a second one today in a driveway a half mile away. Sounds as if I should give a heads up to the entomologists at Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks. You give me a starting place. Thanks again.

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Subject: Giant insect in Seattle
Location: Seattle, Wa
May 31, 2015 12:03 am
I saw this giant insect on an Italian plum in late May in Seattle. It was a warm 75 degree day. It moved slowly on the branches and the butt was pulsating. I made direct eye contact with her. She looked me right in my eyes.
Signature: Bugged out

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Bugged out,
Though it is in the same insect order as wasps and bees, this Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, is perfectly harmless to humans as it is incapable of stinging.  A day earlier, we received another identification request for a “Bee with yellow tipped antennae” and we suspected it too was an Elm Sawfly.  Your images are of a living specimen and the other is dead, and we much prefer images of living insects to those of dead insects, so we decided to feature your submission as the Bug of the Month for June 2015.  The Elm Sawfly, according to BugGuide:  “hosts include elm (Ulmus), maple (Acer), birch (Betula), willow (Salix), and basswood (Tilia); adults girdle bark on twigs.”

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfl

Thanks for the info and for featuring the sawfly! The insect will live out her natural life as we choose not to kill anyone.
Thank you again!
Joe Mirabella

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange Abdomen – Plant eggs in stems?
Location: Mira, Venice, Italy
May 17, 2015 12:26 am
Hi dear Bugman,
On these roses these insects, I counted 4, proceeds undisturbed to crack the stems, leaving behind a kind of scar. I could go as fat as touching them. The have this very bright orange abdomen and very dark rest of the body and wings. The length is about 1-1.2cm. Apparently the upload does not work. I posted two pics:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/maurillio/17557563078/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/maurillio/17122998534/in/dateposted-public/
I’m really curios about this. Glad to find a service like this online. Hope it works :)
Thanks,
Mauro.
Signature: Lord of the manor

Rose Sawflies

Large Rose Sawflies

Dear Mauro, Lord of the Manor,
These are Sawflies, nonstinging relatives of Bees and Wasps whose larvae feed on plants, sometimes eating the leaves, and sometimes feeding on other portions of the host species.  We quickly identified your Sawflies as Large Rose Sawflies,
Arge pagana, on the Dutch site tuin-thijs.com where it states:  “The Large Rose Sawfly saws a hole in a Rose (plant) and lays eggs.  The larvae eat the rose. But usually there is not much damage,  because the larva has many natural enemies.”  On Nature Spot it states:  ” Like all sawflies, female Large Rose Sawflies are in possession of a little saw. With it they make parallel cuts in the fresh shoots of the host plant. In the cut a bunch of eggs is deposited. The larvae hatch quite quickly and move in a group to the freshly emerged leaves. The young larvae (yellow with black spots) stay together for quite some time, capable of eating the entire shoot. Older larvae lead a more single life and eat from older leaves as well.”   We also located an Italian site, Agraria.org that might have helpful information for you. 

WOW!
Thanks Daniel for the quick and comprehensive answer! I took pictures of the larvae last year without knowing they were Sawflies.
Thanks also for the great service you are providing!
Mauro.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this?
Location: Southern Illinois
March 28, 2015 6:48 pm
Went on a walk through a wooded area in southern Illinois and saw this insect. I’m not quite sure what it is and I’ve looked all over the internet. Picture taken 3/28/15.
Signature: Megan

Resembles Black and Red Horntail

Parasitic Wood Wasp Resembles Black and Red Horntail

Dear Megan,
Wow, this one has us confused.  It seems to resemble the Black and Red Horntail,
Urocerus cressoni, but there are too many inconsistencies for us to be sure.  The Black and Red Horntail is described on BugGuide as being:  “head, thorax and wings black, abdomen red (amount of red variable), two pale spots behind the eyes, antennae black with white tips.”  Additionally, the black and white legs are evident in images on BugGuide.  We cannot make out the “pale spots behind the eyes” in your image, and it also appears that the antennae are tipped in black.  There is no obvious ovipositor, so it could be a male of the species, however, March is many months earlier than all the sightings documented on BugGuide.  With all that said, we do not believe this is a Black and Red Horntail, but we cannot provide any other possibility at this time.  We are posting your image and we hope to get some input from our readership.

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
This is a tough one.  Near as I can tell, though, it is a parasitic wood wasp in the family Orussidae:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/13616
They are common, but not seen very often.  They are related to sawflies, but instead of being vegetarians in the larval stage, they are parasites of wood-boring insects, especially beetles.  This one might be ovipositing.
The curly antennae are the best clue here, but the angle is awkward and I’d like to see other images, if there are any, before offering a definitive ID.  I’ll stand by Orussus sp. for now, though.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: On our burr oak, in Texas.
Location: Arlington, TX
March 27, 2015 10:49 pm
Hi,
My partner asked me to grab a picture of this and see if I could help him identify it. He’s been seeing these on our burr oak, here in North Texas, since the leaves started budding this week. He’s says there are “lots” of them. He seems to think they have been laying eggs, but I haven’t seen what they have been up to to confirm this impression (and, obviously, he’s not really a Bug Guy).
For the record, it is late March, and the weather has been warming up here for a couple of weeks. (it’s up to the 70’s and low 80’s this coming week, already.)
I have included both the closer detail crop, adjusted for clarity, and the wider shot for some idea of size. They are small, probably… a half-inch? Maybe? Those are very early leaf buds at the end of an almost twig-like branch that this one is sitting on. (Sorry it is not more clear, it was already evening when he asked me to take the photo.)
Thanks! I hope you can help us out!
Signature: Kelly in Texas

Sawfly, we believe

Sawfly

Dear Kelly,
We believe this is a Sawfly, a non-stinging relative of wasps and bees.  The theory that it might be laying eggs is valid.  The larvae of Sawflies are often confused for caterpillars, and if they are numerous, they can defoliate some plants.  We are going to continue to research this request and we are also going to try to get an opinion from Eric Eaton.
  The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center website mentions “oak leafmining sawfly (Profenusa lucifex)” as an insect that feeds on Burr Oak, and though we could not find the species pictured on BugGuide, members of the genus look similar.

Eric Eaton confirms Sawfly and provides possible species identification
Yes, definitely a sawfly, perhaps Pristiphora chlorea.
Do you know how to do an “advanced search” in Bugguide?  That is often how I come up with answers for you.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge of finding you an answer! :-)
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination