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

Subject: Unkown flying insect dragging a dead spider
Location: South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne Vic. Aust.
March 20, 2013 4:38 am
Hi
I found this page while trying to identify this insect on the various bug sites and having no success, so am hoping that you can identify this insect.
I have never seen one before and was astonished to see it dragging a dead spider up the brickwork next to my front door.
The bricks are 8cm deep and this insect had to be 3.5cm long. It moved very fast and was also able to fly short distances with the dead spider in tow.
The shot was taken in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne at 5.45pm on the 20 March 2013. The weather today was 29c and humidity at about 40%. We have recently had a very dry hot spell of weather with a heavy down pour a few days earlier, so don’t know if this has any bearing on the presence of this insect.
The first photo is the sharpest, but I have included the others even if they are a bit blurred as you can get a side view of the insect .
The insect has a black body and yellow/orange wings, legs and head and it looks like from the 3rd very blurred photo that the rear end tip of the insect is also yellow/orange.
I am really hoping that you can identify it, as everyone I have showed these photos to has never seen anything like it and also has no idea what sort of flying insect it is.
Cheers and Thanks
Signature: Anne

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Hi Anne,
We could have made your identification by your subject line alone considering the time of year.  Each year at this time (winter in our Los Angeles offices but summer in Australia) we receive several submissions of Spider Wasps, often your species which is
Cryptocheilus bicolor, dragging Huntsman Spiders in Australia.  The spider is actually paralyzed and not dead.  The wasp is a female and she will provision her nest with paralyzed spiders to feed her brood.  When the eggs hatch, the young larvae will feed upon the nonvital organs first as the helpless spider is eaten alive.  Thanks for sending such a wonderful photograph since the ones we posted earlier in the month are blurry.

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Wow, Thank you for replying so promptly.  A Spider Wasp, amazing, unfortunately, she lost her prey when she tried to drag it through an outdoor blind, so hopefully the spider recovered.
Anne

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California
March 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Hello,
A few months ago I found this bug against the glass doors in my house. I have been wondering for so long what it was and I’m finally trying to find out. It moved pretty slowly and didn’t seem to fly because it walked all the way across our patio. I asked my parents and no one knows. Please help! I used to live in Point Loma, San Diego, California and never saw it but as soon as I moved north to Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California I saw it.
Signature: From Lindsey

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Lindsey,
This magnificent Spider Wasp is a Tarantula Hawk.  The female is reported to have an extremely painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Australian Unknown – Newport, Victoria
Location: Newport, Victoria, Australia
March 8, 2013 2:59 am
This unknown bug was photographed on 3/8/13 in Newport, Victoria, Australia. It is dragging a dead Huntsman spider.
Please identify, if possible. Sorry about the blurry pic.
Thanks for the help!
Signature: Chuck

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Dear Chuck,
Despite the blurry photos, we have not probems with this identification because we have seen this particular drama play out numerous times in the past.  We regularly get submissions of Spider Wasps with Huntsman Spider prey from Australia, and your wasp appears to be
Cryptocheilus bicolor, a relatively common species in Australia.  Only the female hunts spiders, and only the female is capable of stinging.  The Huntsman Spider will not be eaten by the wasp that hunted it, but rather by her progeny.  She will drag the spider back to a burrow and bury it after laying a single egg.  The spider isn’t dead, but rather paralyzed, and it will supply the wasp larva with fresh meat.  The larva will eat nonvital organs first and the spider will be eaten alive.

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Bug?
Location: Central Oahu, Hi
March 3, 2013 12:57 pm
It’s about 2 inches long and the colors are bright neon blue, bright neon green, with orange on the legs. Oh and it has wings.
Signature: curious

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Dear curious,
This is a curious parasitic wasp known as the Emerald Cockroach Wasp,
Ampulex compressa, and you can read about its interesting life history in our archives.  In a compressed version, the female Emerald Cockroach Wasp preys upon Cockroaches to feed her brood by stinging the Cockroaches and turning them into zombies.  You may read more about the Emerald Cockroach Wasp on TrekNature where it states:  “The wasp is common in the tropical regions of South Asia, Africa and the Pacific islands. The flying wasps are more abundant in the warm seasons of the year.  A. compressa was introduced to Hawaii by F. X. Williams in 1941 as a method of biocontrol. This has been unsuccessful because of the territorial tendencies of the wasp, and the small scale on which they hunt.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Melbourne
February 25, 2013 12:12 am
Hi there, was in the St.kilda Botannical Gardens in Melbourne, wondering what it is? Thanks!
Signature: Peter Collins

Orange Potter Wasp

Orange Potter Wasp

Hi Peter,
Curiously, though you requested an identification, your files were named “potter” and this is a Potter Wasp, most likely the Orange Potter
Wasp, Eumenes latreilli, which we confirmed on the Brisbane Insect Website where it states:  “Potter wasps prey on caterpillars which they paralyze and place inside cells in their nests.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown flying insect Australia
Location: Melbourne, Australia
February 13, 2013 6:31 pm
Hi,
I don’t want to overload you guys with questions, so I hope this second bug in as many days isn’t too much. I used to see these things all over the place in summer, but now they’ve become reasonably rare around here. I tried searching for it on the ’Down Under’ tag, but it doesn’t seem to exist in the first 60 pages.
The females of this insect seem to have massive ovipositors, but that’s about all I know of them, besides a happy affinity to spend all day flying hopelessly against glass windows.
Even if you don’t get around to looking at this, thanks very much for the site — you’ve done a great job with it.
Signature: Thanks, Tasha

Ichneumon

Hi Tasha,
This appears to us to be an Ichneumon, a type of Parasitic Wasp.  Sorry, no time right not for additional research.

Thank you for your fast response. If you do have time at a later point, I would be very interested to know what it’s parasitic to. Otherwise, thank you very much for your time, and I hope things go well for you!
Yours,
Tasha

Hi again Tasha,
Without knowing the species of Ichneumon, it would be impossible to determine the host.  According to the North American website BugGuide, they feed upon:  “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.”
  Some common host insects include caterpillars, beetles and the larvae of wood boring wasps.

Thank you again,
Now that I know what to look for, I think it’s the Orange Caterpillar Parasite — Netelia Producta. It seems most prevalent in Queensland (which is probably why trawling for ‘orange wasp Victoria’ didn’t help), but it appears it can come this far south, after I found record of a few sightings of it in Melbourne.
Have a wonderful time, and keep up the great work on the site,
Tasha.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination