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

Subject: night fliers!
Location: Central Chile, Coastal Mountains (Matorral, rural)
January 24, 2014 6:15 am
Hi bugman,
I have been perusing your site for years trying to identify this creature that enjoys flying into my eyes at night. I rarely see them during the day but as soon as the sun goes down, they begin appearing on my walls and on the outsides of my windows (so I don’t think they live inside, I think they just come inside at some point during the day). When I go to bed and read, they are attracted to the light and fly into my face, causing me to nickname them “jerks.” They do not sting or bite, just annoy. They are only around during the summer– after the first frost they disappear and I rejoice!
Finally I have an internet connection fast enough to send a picture and I found one in the kitchen this morning (I left the light on in there last night in hopes of attracting them there instead of into my bedroom). This guy is about 1cm in length but I have seen various sizes from just a couple of mm up to about 1.5 cm. As much as I hate them, I can’t bring myself to kill things, so this guy was rehomed to the outside. But I’d love to know what they are so I can figure out how to … well, incentivize visiting some other area at night!
Signature: Stefanie

Nocturnal Wasp

Nocturnal Wasp

Hi Stefanie,
This nocturnal Hymenopteran is some species of Wasp.  We will post your image, attempt an identification and enlist the assistance of our readership.  Congratulations on your internet upgrade.

Thanks!! I thought it might be a non-stinging wasp but I’m not exactly a pro at this so I wasn’t sure. I had never seen a non-stinging wasp before. It’s astounding the number of curious things you find floating around in the night!

Hi again Stefanie,
Male wasps do not sting.  Please see Eric Eaton’s response.

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
I’m on my way out the door, but….It is a male wasp, something related to velvet ants; but the taxonomy of all those related families is so complex, based on such minute characters, that I’m not sure anybody could tell you anything more from images alone.  One really needs to put the specimen under a microscope.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp and Spider
Location: Malaysia
January 22, 2014 2:45 pm
Dear Mr Marlos,
This is the stream in which that spider was found. Incidentally just for your interest as i was standing on one of these boulders this blue winged insect (perhaps a wasp?) the size of my big toe landed, when if flew off it left this carcass of a large spider it had been carrying about underneath.
N.Sathesh

Wasp

Wasp

Hi again N. Sathesh,
Your new images have us very intrigued and we are creating a brand new posting.  This blue winged creature is most definitely a wasp, but we are not certain if it is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompillidae.  The situation with the spider is very interesting.  We believe the Wasp bit the legs off the Spider to make it easier to transport.  In situations like this where a Wasp preys on a Spider or other insect, the prey is generally paralyzed to provide a food source for a larva.  We will try to identify this fascinating Wasp.  It resembles this Spider Wasp from Borneo on Alex Hyde’s website.

Spider with legs Amputated

Spider with legs Amputated

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White Flank Orange Braconid Wasp
Location: Millicent South Australia
January 13, 2014 11:48 pm
Quite common in this area along dirt roads.
A friend’s daughter crash her car thinking the insect would sting her.
Signature: Ken de Low

Braconid Wasp

Braconid Wasp

Hi Ken,
We agree that this is a Braconid Wasp, but it is not the same as the White Flank Orange Braconid,
Callibracon species, that is pictured on the Brisbane Insect Website.  There are many Australian Braconids with this same general color pattern.  We are sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter’s car crash, but it wouldn’t be the first time the irrational fear of an insect in the car has caused an accident.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia
January 11, 2014 9:08 pm
Hi
We saw this large black flying insect all over the beaches in the Whitsunday Islands. They were about 1.5 inches long, maybe a centimetre wide. They burrow into holes in the sand. They didn’t seem very interested in people, mostly ignoring us.
What on earth is it??
Thanks
Signature: Jenny

Thread-Waisted Wasp

Thread-Waisted Wasp

Hi Jenny,
We don’t believe we will be able to provide you with a species identification based on your photos, but we can give you a more general family and subfamily identification.  This is most likely a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, and we are basing this on the anatomy of the wasp in your images, specifically the narrow “wasp waist” as well as the burrowing behavior.  Furthermore, we believe it is in the subfamily Sphecinae.  The Brisbane Insect website describes the subfamily:  “Wasps in subfamily Sphecinae are usually black in colour, from medium to large size. They have the abdomen link with thorax with very slender cylindrical stalk-like petiole, i.e. the thread-waist. They predatory on Orthoptera, including grasshoppers and katydids. Females build nest for their young by digging long tunnel in sandy ground. “

Sphecid Wasp

Sphecid Wasp digging

Your photos are most interesting to us on a behavioral level of the subfamily rather than as images of a specific species.

Thread-Waisted Wasp

Thread-Waisted Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Theiron morio
Location: USA, Tarpon Springs, FL
January 8, 2014 1:56 pm
Greetings.
This seems to match a photo of Therion morio.
Thoughts?
many thanks
Signature: James

Ichneumon:  Therion morio

Ichneumon: Therion morio

Hi James,
You are correct.  This magnificent Ichneumon is
Therion morio.  According to BugGuide, the female parasitizes moth caterpillars, including the Fall Webworm.

Ichenumon:  Therion morio

Ichenumon: Therion morio

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee/Wasp (?) from Peru
Location: Coastal Peru
January 6, 2014 6:24 pm
Dear Bugman,
today’s identification request refers to this flying insect from coastal Peru. It was pretty big and I was really in awe of it’s orange antennae and the length of its behind legs. Thank you again for your great help!
Signature: Frank

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Frank,
This is surely a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and we are relatively certain it is a Tarantula Hawk in the tribe Pepsini.  Many Tarantula Hawks have orange wings, but there are also black winged individuals.  We found a photo that was cached on Ebay that is a Peruvian Tarantula Hawk that looks similar.  Here is another Peruvian Tarantula Hawk on Etsy, but it has black antennae.  Bird Forum has a very similar looking Peruvian Tarantula Hawk tentatively identified as an Elegant Tarantula Hawk,
Pepsis menechma.  Continued research revealed that the Elegant Tarantula Hawk is a North American species that is pictured on BugGuide, but that does not mean it doesn’t range down to South America.  We cannot at this time provide a species identification, but you can be assured that this is a Tarantula Hawk.  Female Tarantula Hawks hunt Tarantulas.  They sting and paralyze the spiders and then bury them after laying a single egg.  The paralyzed Tarantula becomes a stationary, living source of food for the developing larval Tarantula Hawk.  We have several examples in our archives of Tarantula Hawks hunting Tarantulas, and even a photo where the Tarantula Hawk was eaten by the Tarantula, which is what can happen if you insist on hunting predators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination