Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bee/wasp is it and how dangerous is it?
Location: Encinitas, CA
August 11, 2014 10:10 am
I found this guy while working out in California in Encinitas. It flew by me and landed on this section of the wall. I tried not to get too close to it as it looks rather ferocious.
Signature: Oogzy

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Dear Oogzy,
This beautiful wasp is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, a solitary species that builds mud nests provisioned with paralyzed spiders to feed the larval wasps.  According to BugGuide:  “Nests may comprise up to 25 cylindrical cells, with typically 6-15 (up to 40) prey spiders per cell. The female may provide the cells with a temporary closure (a thin mud curtain) to keep out parasites while she is collecting prey. Once the cell is stocked, she lays an egg on one of the last prey and seals the cell with a thick mud plug. She may then add more mud to cover the entire cluster of cells.”  You can compare your image to this better focused image on BugGuide.  Mud Daubers are not aggressive wasps, though they may sting if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an American Daggar Moth Caterpillar?
Location: Cleveland, OH
August 8, 2014 5:28 pm
I have seen so many of these caterpillars this year in my backyard! I think this is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar, but why does it have these weird things on its back? All of these caterpillars are surrounding my pool and sometimes fall in.
Signature: MissX

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Dear MissX,
In our opinion, this is a Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota harrisii, and it is host to the pupae of a parasitoid wasp, most likely a Braconid.  Parasitoid Wasps are often very host specific, preying upon a single species or genus.  Parasitoids feed on the internal organs of the host species, eventually killing the host.  See this matching image on BugGuide and this matching image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big wasp like bug visits picnic
Location: Powell river, bc
August 8, 2014 5:21 pm
We were having a picnic at the Saltery Bay picnic/beach and this rather large bug decided to join us
August 6, around 5:30 pm
Powell river regional district, bc not far from the Saltery bay ferry terminal
Signature: Noni

Wood Wasp:  Urocerus albicornis

Wood Wasp: Urocerus albicornis

Hi Noni,
This is
Urocerus albicornis, a species of Horntail or Wood Wasp without a common name.  According to BugGuide, it is found in  “forested regions from southern boreal Canada south to NC-MP-NM-CA” and “hosts include fir, larch, spruce, pine, Douglas-fir, hemlock, and western red cedar.”  According to all the information we have read, they are harmless and do not sting humans, including this family information on BugGuide:  “Horntails do not sting: what looks like a sting is the ovipositor the female uses to lay eggs in wood.”  With that stated, we need to divulge that we just posted this very credible report that a man in England was “stung” by a European relative of your Wood Wasp.  That unverified report seems to be an anomaly.

Thank you for your reply.. She visited a bit and then with gentle nudge flew off on her way, much to the happiness of the other occupant of the picnic blanket.. Such a beautiful big bug!!!
😉 noni StReMmInG

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a wood wasp?
Location: North Yorkshire England
August 6, 2014 2:25 pm
Hi I was at work today putting up a fence when I felt a pain in my leg. I looked and was not sure what it was I knocked it away and in doing so unfortunately killed the insect. It had however stung me and it is incredibly painful even now 10 hours later. I am from the north east of England and have never seen such a creature please help me identify it!
Signature: James Rowe

Great Wood Wasp

Great Wood Wasp

Dear James,
This is indeed a Great Wood Wasp, and we are quite surprised to learn of your experience.  According to UK Safari:  “The female (above) has a long pointed tube at the back of her body, and this is often 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 appearance, these insects are quite harmless.”  Knowing that and also knowing that the female lays her eggs beneath the surface of the bark of a tree, we believe it is entirely possible that this Great Wood Wasp mistook your leg for a conifer, and tried to lay eggs.  Do you use pine scented soap?  We do not believe she was trying to sting you.  It is also possible that she used her powerful mandibles to nibble at your leg.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your speedy and informative response. This is indeed very likely as I was at the time building a fence using pine timber and it is very possible that the timber would have come into contact with my leg. There is in all 5 “sting” marks on my leg so it is possible that she has had a nibble. It is rather swollen and painful. What could this be? It does feel like a general bee/wasp sting. Could she have laid her eggs?
Many Thanks,
James Rowe

Hi again James,
This is quite perplexing and contrary to all we have read, so we are tagging this posting as a mystery.  We suppose if you were jabbed with her ovipositor accidentally, it is also possible that she deposited eggs.  Unless you have a wooden leg, you shouldn’t have much to worry about, however, as we are not medical doctors, should any irritation persist, you might want to seek medical attention.

Eric Eaton Concurs
Daniel:
I would concur with your assessment, except I doubt she would have laid eggs.  After five attempts she may have concluded “this is not a tree.”  In any event, I agree he should seek medical attention if symptoms persist or get worse.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: rose borer wasp?
Location: Floyd County Virginia
August 6, 2014 11:45 am
Cutting off some sickly stems of my knockout roses, I found the stem (about 1/2″ in diameter) to be hollow inside. I slit the stem lengthwise and found these guys inside. I looked them up using whatever search terms I could think of, but found nothing similar. The wasps (?) are about 1/4″+ in length, and they appeared to be newly “fledged”…just beginning to spread their wings. Perhaps they were about ready to bore their way out, having passed through their larval stage?
Signature: Laurel Pritchard

Small Carpenter Bees

Square Headed Wasps

Hi Laurel,
We didn’t think these seemed like the usual suspects, Small Carpenter Bees in the genus
Ceratina, so we checked with Eric Eaton.  Here is his response.

Eric Eaton identified Square Headed Wasps
Daniel:
These are square-headed wasps, family Crabronidae, and probably Ectemnius continuus.  They nest in pith like small carpenter bees, certain mason bees….but they stock the tunnels with paralyzed flies as food for their offspring.  So, still beneficial, just in a different way.
Eric

Square Headed Wasps

Square Headed Wasps

 

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