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

Subject: Giant Wasp?
Location: Oak Lawn IL
August 18, 2013 2:14 pm
I am trying to figure out what this hige wasp looking bug is, all of a sudden they are in my yard around my pool and this one pictured ended up drowning so I was able to snap some photos. Help please they are terrifying the family from going outside.
Signature: Dean P

Cicada Killer drowned in pool

Cicada Killer drowned in pool

Dear Dean,
This is a drowned Cicada Killer Wasp.  Cicada Killers are solitary wasps and they are not considered to be aggressive.  Female Cicada Killers, once they have mated, will dig a burrow and provision it with paralyzed Cicadas that they drag back to feed their larvae.  The female Cicada Killer stings the Cicada to paralyze it so that the meat will stay fresh and the developing larva eats its still living meal.  Male Cicada Killers will aggressively defend territory, however, they lack stingers and are perfectly harmless.  Occasionally we receive a report that someone has been stung by a Cicada Killer, but those reports are quite rare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ground insect… Bee?
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
August 17, 2013 7:01 pm
Here’s a strange ground insect/bee (strange to me, anyway). It was digging a hole in my garden in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was about 1-1/2” long with a loud buzz. Can you ID it for me?
Signature: Sue

Great Golden Digger Wasp excavates nest

Great Golden Digger Wasp excavates nest

Dear Sue,
You have observed and photographed a female Great Golden Digger Wasp excavating her nest.  Perhaps you will be fortunate enough to witness her stocking her nest with paralyzed Katydids or Crickets to feed her young.  Great Golden Digger Wasps are solitary wasps, and though she has a stinger, she would be very reluctant to use it on a human.  Solitary Wasps are generally not aggressive, nor do they defend their nests from attack.  This Great Golden Digger Wasp uses her instincts to locate Katydids and sting them.  Her venom does not kill the prey, but merely paralyzes it.  She then drags the paralyzed Katydid back to the nest and buries it.  She lays an egg on the paralyzed Katydid and the larva then has a supply of fresh, not dried, meat upon which to feed.

Very cool, Daniel!
Thanks for the great information and such a quick response!!
Are these wasps very common? I’ve never seen one…
Sue

Great Golden Digger Wasps are not rare and they are found in all 48 lower states.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge wasp or hornet
Location: Update New York
August 17, 2013 1:53 pm
What on earth is this massive bug, and is the stinger really half the length of its body??
Signature: Almost stung

Pigeon Horntail Carnage

Pigeon Horntail Carnage

Dear Almost stung [not even],
This is a Pigeon Horntail, a type of Wood Wasp.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is the ovipositor of the female Pigeon Horntail which she drives into the wood of dead or dying trees to lay eggs.  The larvae are wood boring insects.  We are guessing by the grotesque and unnatural position of this dead Pigeon Horntail that it is a victim of Unnecessary Carnage.  In defense of your having mistaken the ovipositor for a stinger, the stingers of bees and wasps are actually modified ovipositors.  In some insects like solitary wasps, the stinger/ovipositor is multipurpose, but in social insects like Honey Bees, the sterile female workers can only sting since they are incapable of laying eggs.  We believe the chances of being stung by this Pigeon Horntail are next to nil, however, if the ovipositor can drive through wood, it might surely be capable of piercing the far softer human skin, but unlike sterile workers in social insect colonies which sting to protect the hive, Pigeon Horntails would have no instincts to protect their young, hence they are not aggressive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd bug on cucumbers
Location: Houston texas
July 27, 2013 2:32 pm
Found these on my cucumbers. They were not bothering me but it seems the more of them that show up the worse my cucumbers are doing.
Signature: Thanks, chris

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Chris,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp.  While she will not harm your cucumbers, you should exercise caution and not handle this Velvet Ant as they are reported to deliver a very painful sting.  Based on photos posted to BugGuide, we believe this might be
Dasymutilla quadriguttata.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this?
Location: North of Iran (Khazar sea)
July 27, 2013 12:43 am
It’s tail actually moving and it’s prickle is too painful. Please look at it’s photos.
Signature: ?

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Your Ensign Wasp is a beneficial creature that parasitizes the oothica or egg case of Cockroaches, helping to control the populations of that household marauder.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee/ant???
Location: Northwest, United States
July 27, 2013 4:22 pm
Came across a bug today that scared me soo bad! I’ve never seen anything like it.. Do you know what this is?
Signature: Chelsea

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Hi Chelsea,
This is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, a solitary wasp that uses mud to construct a nest for its young that is provisioned with paralyzed spiders as food.  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.”  The Black and Yellow Mud Dauber is not an aggressive species, however it might sting if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination