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

Subject: Small Parasitic Wasp
Location: Rose Hill, CA
October 3, 2012 9:24 pm
Dear Bugman,
I just found this little miss as I was cleaning up my kitchen. I only know she is a wasp but I have no idea what kind. She is approximately 1/2” long excluding her antennae.
Signature: joAnn


Hi joAnn,
Your photos are of excellent quality, however, we do not believe we have the necessary skills to provide you with a species identification.  We agree that this is a parasitic wasp, most likely an Ichneumon.  According to BugGuide, the family contains:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates(3).)”


Good morning Daniel,
Thank you for that identification!
In looking at the images on BugGuide as well as others on the internet I agree on Ichneumon. Ironically as a kid that was one of my favorite insects to name out of one of my insect books yet I never realized that they came in such a diminutive size. I have a whole new found fascination for last nights house guest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cicada killer? or Yellow Jacket?
Location: Tampa, FL
October 2, 2012 9:34 pm
I just took this picture minutes ago on my back patio. This insect is parked on the edge of the cat food bowl and is happily posing as long as I needed. It’s still there, but I’m thinking that I need to get it outside in the yard for survival. I have looked through a lot of images and I’m leaning toward Cicada Killer, but the markings are a bit different. It’s Oct. 2nd at 10pm in Tampa, Florida.
Signature: Shell K

Tiphid Wasp

Dear Shell,
This appears to us to be a Tiphid Wasp in the genus
Myzinum, most likely a female based on this description posted to BugGuide:  “Females are robust, with short, curled antennae and heavy hind femora (“thighs”). Males are very slender with long, straight antennae and a prominent curved “pseudostinger” at the tip of the abdomen.”  In a previous posting to our website, we posted this description from BugGuide, “A slender, shining black wasp, with yellow crossbands. Males are more slender than the females and have an upturned black hook at the end of the abdomen. There are 5 yellow bands on the abdomen of the female (the second is broken in the middle) and 6 narrow, more regular ones in the male. Both head and thorax are marked with yellow. Legs of the males are strongly yellow, but they are reddish in females. Wings are brown.“   However, we cannot locate that citation at its source any longer.  We are relatively certain the species if the Five Banded Tiphid Wasp, Myzinum quinquecinctum.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New Insect Website: Bees and Wasps
Location: UK
October 1, 2012 3:14 pm
Dear bugman,
I have created a website about bees and wasps to provide information in a fun and informative way. The language is easy to understand yet detailed with rare and unique information, categorised neatly into sections. Overall I have tried to make the website fun and engaging.
It would be fantastic and most appreciated if you were able to list me on your site to share with others. I can add a link to your site if you wish.
Thank you for your time,
Signature: Richard Egan BeesnWasps

Parasitic Wasp

Dear Richard,
We will happily post a link to your Bees and Wasps Website.  Are your submissions from the UK or all around the world?

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the link. My submissions and research are based on UK bee and wasp species.
regards, Richard

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: five eyed bug
Location: Northern Vermont
September 30, 2012 8:15 pm
I shot this photo on the siding at night by the light. It seems to have five eyes and an ant-like body. By the shadow, it looks like it has an ant-like mandible as well.
Signature: Kathryn W.


Hi Kathryn,
This is an Ichneumon, a type of parasitoid wasp that belongs to a large family that is often difficult to identify to the species level.
  According to BugGuide, there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates(3)).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: HELP!!!
Location: Western Sydney Australia
September 28, 2012 4:26 pm
Hi Bugman, I found groups of these what appear to be caterpillars that seem to have fallen out of a tree onto a driveway at a group of factories – they seem to be working together to move across the driveway, but I’m concerned for their wellbeing, especially that they may be squished by a car…
Signature: Yo, Dumbo :)


Dear Yo, Dumbo,
Though they are often mistaken for caterpillars, these are the larvae of Sawflies, members of the insect order that contains wasps and bees.  In Australia, the larvae of Sawflies in the family Pergidae are commonly called Spitfires.  You can compare your photo to the ones posted on the Brisbane Insect website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wasp in redwood
Location: Sonoma County, CA
September 23, 2012 10:25 pm
Howdy Bugman,
I run a small bandsaw mill unprofessionally and am current building a small house with it. I’m working on siding now out of a redwood that I dropped a year and a half ago and I kept running into these half pupated whatsits with creepy long legs. I thought they were Old House Borers but their legs looked too long for a beetles and also adding to the trouble was I kept beheading them with the saw which I’m sure you understand makes identification difficult. Finally uncovered this rather large metallic looking wasp that I miraculously missed with the saw. I dug it out and it sluggishly wandered around and I took a not so clear picture. I thought about killing it but if I spend a few minutes with an insect or arachnid even if they give me the heeby jeebies I feel bad and put them somewhere out of harms way. In this case I stuck it over on the scary old circular mill with removeable teeth. A little while later I saw it flying around and busily landing on things. Sin ce fall is fast approaching is this guy (gal?) going to make it or was it planning on overwintering in my siding?
Signature: best to all, Erik

Wood Wasp

Hi Erik,
This is some species of Wood Wasp or Horntail in the family Siricidae, and since you found it in redwood and redwood is a conifer, it is most likely in the subfamily Siricinae.  There are only two genera listed on BugGuide, and we are having a problem identifying this to the species level.  We will try sending the image to Eric Eaton to see if he can provide anything more specific.  Your letter was filled with helpful information on the habits of Wood Wasps and Horntails.
  We also located this very informative posting from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis.

Eric Eaton Responds with some surprising news
This really is a great story.  Ok, from what I can gather, the only species of horntail known to infest redwoods in California is Sirex areolatus, and I reach that conclusion with the help of a very recent online reference:
Still, the ovipositor in this female specimen is very long.  I’d like to forward this e-mail to two of the authors of the above paper, whom I know from prior correspondence.  There is always the possibility I’m wrong, or that this is a new species, or an introduced species from elsewhere….
Lastly, with Erik’s permission, I’d like to use his image and story in a blog post about this species.  I’d need his last name to assign proper credit, of course.

Thank you so much for the identification I am fascinated by just about everything and enjoy learning more about my neck of the woods. Not actually my neck of the woods but I work there and that’s close enough. Just to be clear, I only thought about killing it because I was afraid it would generate future generations of wasps in my lumber. However upon reading that UC Davis article I understand they don’t infest or re-infest finished structures. This will learn me to get my butt in gear when I cut trees! Quite a spectacular wasp I’m glad I can say I didn’t kill it.
Thanks again,
Right, as for Eric’s request yes by all means. If it’s any more help, the larvae were found only in the sapwood of the redwood while the pupating ones and the adult were just in the surface of heartwood.
Best to all,
Erik Dolgushkin

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination