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

Subject: please help me identify this bug.
Location: south australia
August 6, 2014 12:08 am
Hey. I was walking home with my friend today and we walked pasted a shrub or a ungrow tree and there was this black bug on it with white spikes. I’m not sure exactly whether it was a spider or an insect but when I wobbled the branch it kind of moved like an octopus. It almost the end of winter and temperature was about 17-20 degrees celsius if the climate helps. The picture I am showing might not be completely clear or from the best angle so I apologise. Hopefully you can identify this bug. Cheers.
Signature: molly

Steel Blue Sawfly Larvae

Steel Blue Sawfly Larvae

Dear Molly,
When taking images of bugs, it is best to focus on the subject and not the background.  You mistook this aggregation of larvae for a single creature, when it is actually a grouping.  We could tell the branch was some type of Eucalyptus, so we searched for both caterpillars and sawflies that feed on Eucalyptus, and we quickly located an image of Steel Blue Sawflies on the Australian Native Plants Society site, but sadly, only a common name was provided.  The site states:  “Another chewing pest that can appear in large numbers are steel-blue sawfly larvae. They do most of the damage to a tree’s foliage during the night and in daylight hours they gather into groups around small branches. If they are accessible at these times they can be removed by cutting off the branches where they cluster together.”
  Armed with that common name, we next located an image on the Australian Museum site where we learned a genus name Perga and the information that “The Steel-blue Sawfly can sometimes cause extensive damage to trees.”  Our third stop was the Museum Victoria site where the Steel Blue Sawfly was Bug of the Month in July 2012.  There we reinforced the common name Spitfire for a Sawfly Larva and we got the species name Perga dorsalis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown insect
Location: Nr Manchester, UK
August 3, 2014 12:46 pm
Hi there,
We live in the north west of England, near to Manchester and found this insect in our garden. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It measured about 3″ long. Can you identify it?
Signature: Best wishes, Fi

Giant Wood Wasp

Giant Wood Wasp

Dear Fi,
This is a Giant Wood Wasp,
Uroceras gigas, and according to the Pottery Museum website:  “Flight period: May – August.  The large size and black and yellow colouration mean that this ‘wasp’ causes more than a few scares, but it is not a wasp at all, it is a sawfly and completely harmless. The large ‘sting’ is in fact the ovipositor, which is used to lay eggs (and gives it the alternative name of horntail). Most often seen in coniferous woodland.  Common in Staffordshire. “

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