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

Subject: flies, stings and lives in groups in Gambia
Location: Gambia
December 11, 2012 2:26 pm
Hi, I took this pic in an outside storeroom, in an area called Sanchaba, near Serekunda, Gambia West Africa today, 12/12/12. It flies, stings very bad and lives in a kind on honeycomb style nest in a dark and would be damp place.
Signature: ginger badjie

Paper Wasps

Hi Ginger,
Your photo lacks clarity, but these appear to be Paper Wasps.  Paper Wasps are generally not aggressive, but like other social wasps, they will defend their nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ugly pictures of a pretty wasp
Location: Catoctin Mountains, Maryland
December 12, 2012 1:43 pm
I accidentally dumped some water on this wasp in the kitchen sink. I scooped it out and let it dry off for a while before it could fly again and I put it outside. It stung me once on the wrist, which itches and doesn’t really hurt. I didn’t even notice until a few minutes afterward. What kind of wasp is this? Does it have a nest to go to? It’s very sleek and pretty, with kind of an amber body and big eyes with legs that are darker toward the body than they are on the end.
Signature: Jenny

Paper Wasp, we believe

Hi Jenny,
The general size and shape of this wasp looks like that of a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, but we cannot be certain since your photo lacks clarity.  In general coloration, it does resemble this photo of Polistes fuscatus from BugGuide.  Paper Wasps are social wasps that build a nest with a papery texture from chewed wood.  In colder climates, the workers die of in the winter and only the new queens hibernate.  The nest is abandoned with the onset of cold weather and in the spring, the new queen begins a new nest and a new colony. Because of you kind deed, we are tagging your post with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Aww, yay!  Thank you.  Sorry for the blurry photograph!  It was a time-sensitive moment that required me to settle with my low-quality cell phone for a picture.  I love the work you guys do.  Your website has been my homepage for about 3 years and it remains one of my favorite places on the web.

Hi again Jenny,
We are happy to hear our website gives you such pleasure.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp
Location: La Marque, Tx
November 17, 2012 2:47 pm
What kind of wasp is this?
Signature: Thank You, Tx Finest

Paper Wasp

Dear Tx Finest,
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes.  We believe it is Polistes bellicosus based on the photos posted to BugGuide and this description:  “It has completely red hind femora.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue Fly
Location: Southwest, Florida,
November 15, 2012 11:25 am
I have no idea what kind of fly this is I have searched everywhere and cannot find a picture of this..this picture was taken in southwest Florida, November 15th..
Signature: David

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear David,
This magnificent creature is not a fly, but rather a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae.  The common name originates from the reproductive behavior
female who rather than building her own nest, parasitizes the nest of another wasp.  According to BugGuide: “Some species are parasitoids and others cleptoparasites. Either way the host larva dies. …  Parasitoids feed on the larva of the host and cleptoparasites “steal” the host’s food. The food-stealing behavior of cleptoparasite species resembles that of the cuckoo bird and gave rise to the cuckoo wasp’s name. Hosts of parasitoid species include bees, sphecid wasps, potter wasps, sawflies, silk moths, and the eggs of stick insects. Cleptoparasitic species feed on provisions of sphecid wasp nests, which may include dead spiders, true bugs, aphids, or thrips.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasps, Sawflies? In Germany
Location: Hessen Germany
November 11, 2012 5:53 am
Love your site. It is what helped me figure out, a couple years ago, not to be so afraid of the House Centipede (which I’d never even heard of previously) who decided my bed was part of his/her daily path. We came to an understanding… I looked at pictures over and over on the net to get over my fear and s/he stopped visiting my bed after I tried to capture her (that was my ultimate goal in the attempt anyway; relocation).
Since then the site also helped me become even more interested in other insects, as I was already quite fascinated by spiders once I saw one eat her web she had strewn across a pathway I blundered into.
And so it is that I recently took pictures of what I think are some in the wasp/sawfly family in Germany, specifically the Hessen area in September/October.
The first one was moving so fast flying, landing, walking, repeat; apparently agitated at being stuck inside a tower but not knowing how to get out. There were several of these kind but I was in a bit of a hurry too with people, who don’t understand my interest in things so small, waiting for me.
The second was while on a walk. He (I believe) was on a rock with several ladybugs (which I will send a couple pics in of later though I believe they were all Asian — thank you for helping me identify those) on a path that was once an old Roman road (and apparently still goes to Warsaw, Poland). The path was surrounded by farm fields, some apparently organic while others seemed to be growing GMO corn and canola/rapeseed for biogas (there is so much of that in Germany). I think he may be of the xyelid family? I also have more pictures of this one.
The 3rd was already passed on, stuck in a spider’s web in town. I originally took the picture for the aesthetic reasons but after seeing the other two above and going through your wasp files I am now very curious about this one as well.
More to come soon of others (for some reason bugs in Germany have been finding me, nearly committing suicide even in the attempts :D).
Thank you for all you do (for us humans and the little ones we fail so often to understand)! :)
Signature: Curious Girl

Ichneumon Wasp

Dear Curious Girl,
Thanks for your wonderful letter.  We are not certain of the identity of your two wasps, but we are fairly confident that they are not Sawflies.  They both look like solitary hunters and Sawflies do not prey upon other arthropods.  We will continue to try to find out the species identities.  Your third photo doesn’t have much detail, but the creature caught in the spider web looks like a flying ant.

Unknown Wasp

Ed. Note:  November 16, 2013
These are most likely Ichneumon Wasps.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: San Diego
Location: San Diego, 92131
November 6, 2012 2:38 pm
Is this a wasp? An ant?
Signature: Peter

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Peter,
The Tarantula Hawk is a large wasp that preys upon Tarantulas.  The are much more impressive alive than they are dead.  The sting of a female Tarantula Hawk is reported to be quite painful, however, they are not aggressive towards people, but they will sting if provoked or carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination