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

Subject: Ground nesting hornet
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
July 28, 2013 11:34 am
My brother has an infestation of these in his yard. They make dirt pile nests in the ground similar to cicada killers, but these are something else. They’re quite large, about 2 1/2 inches long. They appear to be docile as they have not stung anyone. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Jen & Doug

Cicada Killer

Cicada Killer

Dear Jen & Doug,
This is a Cicada Killer, a large wasp that preys upon Cicadas to feed its brood.  They are solitary wasps and they are not considered aggressive, and as your email indicates, they “appear to be docile.”  For years we have said that we have not received a verified report of a Cicada Killer sting, but we recently posted a comment claiming that a person was stung and the sting was quite painful.  Male Cicada Killers will defend their territory by chasing much larger creatures, however male wasps are unable to sting since the stinger is a modified ovipositor, an organ for laying eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Crane Fly or Other?
Location: Wasilla Alaska
July 22, 2013 4:21 am
Hi, my son is six and at a time of q&a with me, his homeschooling mom, about everything he encounters. I never realized how little I know about the immediate world around me until recently! I’m determined to keep up and thus I have landed here on your site. I am hoping this is just a Crane Fly type, but the thorax pattern and long stinger throw that idea off a bit. Please help. Kind Regards,
Signature: Curious’s Mom

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Curious’s Mom,
This is some species of Ichneumon, a group of parasitoid wasps that prey upon other insects and arthropods.  The “stinger” is actually an ovipositor, and many Ichnuemons use the ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the surface of stumps and logs that are infested with wood boring insects.  Those Ichneumons are commonly called Stump Stabbers.  We don’t get many submissions from Alaska, and we try to identify creatures to the species level whenever possible, but Ichneumons are a large group of insects and many species are not well described.  Your Ichneumon appears to be a very different species from this previous Ichneumon from Alaska that we posted several years ago.  Your individual does look very similar to this member of the genus Rhyssa that is posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Los Padres Nat’l Forest north of Ojai at a campground
july 15, 2013
the tarantula wasp was taken at the same location/date.
c.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Thank you Clare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Moorpark college
July 21, 2013 11:20 pm
I found this guy on the moorpark college campus. He was dead when I found him which was sad. . He was about 2” long.
Signature: You rock!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

This is a Tarantula Hawk and they are much more impressive living and in action than they are dead.  Hopefully you will have an opportunity to witness a living Tarantula Hawk in action.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: small green and purple wasp?
Location: Wolverhampton UK
July 21, 2013 3:38 am
Saw this bug that appeared to be a wasp in the bus stop by my house in Wolverhampton UK. Never seen anything like it before so was interested. It was under an inch long very metallic colours with a bold almost turquoise green abdomen and purple rump. Any ideas
Signature: Adam

Ruby Tailed Wasp or other???

Ruby Tailed Wasp or other???

Dear Adam,
We thought this was going to be easy, but now we are not certain.  Last year we posted a photo of what we identified as a Ruby Tailed Wasp,
Hedychridium roseum, a species of Cuckoo Wasp.  Today, we tried to verify that and we found the BWars page which describes the wasp as being:  “Hedychridium roseum can be diagnosed by the dull, as opposed to shining, abdomen – unique to this species amongst British Hedychridium.”  It is difficult to discern if the abdomen on your specimen is dull or shining, but our previous post appears to be shining.  That brings us to another possibility, Chrysis fulgida, which we discovered on The Guardian and then verified on BWars and BioLib.  To further complicate matters, BWars has other similarly colored species, including Pseudospinolia neglecta, yet another UK Cuckoo Wasp pictured on BWars.  So, this is a Cuckoo Wasp, with a general name of Ruby Tailed Wasp, but we are not certain of the genus nor species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that in Marblehead, MA
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
July 16, 2013 5:16 am
This was hanging outside….
Signature: Theresa

Giant Ichneumon Ovipositing

Giant Ichneumon Ovipositing

Dear Theresa,
This is a harmless, beneficial, parasitic Hymenopteran, a female Giant Ichneumon,
Megarhyssa atrata, and she is in the act of ovipositing.  She uses her long ovipositor to deposit an egg beneath the surface of a dead or dying tree or branch that are infested with the wood boring larvae of a Wood Wasp known as a Pigeon Horntail.  The egg hatches and the larval Giant Ichneumon feeds upon the larval Wood Wasp.  Giant Ichneumons are commonly called Stump Stabbers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination