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

Subject: Beetle with metallic pink abdomen, green head
Location: Minsmere, Suffolk, UK
August 11, 2012 5:40 pm
I wonder if you can help here. The beetle was small and fast and the photo is poor, but I can’t find any pink and green beetles like it. Seen 11 Aug 2012, RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk, UK … sunny afternoon on a tank trap block (concrete) between beach and marsh. I took the photo.
Signature: CGill

Ruby Tail Wasp

Dear CGill,
This is not a beetle, but rather a Hymenopteran, the insect order that contains bees, ants and wasps.  After some careful internet research, we found an insect with this particular color pattern on the Heathland Solitary Wasps website, and it is called the Ruby Tail Wasp,
Hedychridium roseum.  The Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society (BWARS) website has a map an Suffolk is included in the limited UK range of the Ruby Tail Wasp.  We learned on that the Ruby Tail Wasp is classified as a Cuckoo Wasp, meaning that instead of providing for its own young, the female Ruby Tail Wasp lays an egg in the nest of another Hymenopteran and the developing larva eats the food that was collected for the host species larva.

Thank you, Daniel, so much for all this extremely interesting and helpful information. I’m only sorry the photo was so poor … it was a rush to get a pic. at all as the creature was scuttling towards a dark crevice in the concrete clock at break neck speed!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug and nest material
Location: Rochester, New York
August 7, 2012 1:50 pm
Hi. I keep getting bugs of some kind nesting between wood casement windows and the jambs…a teeny tight space. Sometimes I find clumps of dry grass, other times little dried mud tubes(maybe a different species). I’m amazed they can squeeze in there and can’t figure out what the attraction is. They aren’t damaging the wood, but messy when I open a window that’s been closed for months, and the stuff falls into the room. In today’s cleaning I found actual bugs (a brighter green than the photo shows). Thank you!
Signature: Hiawatha

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest provisioned with Tree Crickets

Dear Hiawatha,
The insects in your photo did not make this nest.  They are what appear to be Tree Crickets and they are the prey of the nest maker, a Grass Carrying Wasp in the genus
Isodontia.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are fed Grillidae (particularly tree crickets) or other Orthoptera” and “These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  See BugGuide for additional information on the Grass Carrying Wasp.  The mud nests you found were most likely the nests of Mud Dauber Wasps and they are generally provisioned with spiders to feed the larvae.

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest

Wow…thanks, Daniel!  That was a fast response and very comprehensive.  I really appreciate your taking the time to answer.  There’s probably nothing I can do to keep the grass carrying wasps out of the narrow track above the windows, but at least I know what I’m up against.
Again, thanks very much,
Jim Dierks
Rochester, NY

Hi again Jim,
Neither Grass Carrying Wasps nor Mud Daubers are aggressive species and you should not fear getting stung.

Good to know, Daniel.  Thanks.  I’ll just let the little guys do their thing, and with all the other troubles I’ve had with these windows, at least the wasps are just using some convenient space and not harming the windows at all.
Jim Dierks

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bees, scorpions, and dragonflys breeding?
Location: Island in New Hampshire
August 6, 2012 6:34 am
Found this insect on an island in New Hampshire beginning of August. Was sitting in a knot in a tree very docile. A similar looking mate was flying around outside. This one barely moved as I got close to take pictures. Looks like it had a stinger like a scorpion, head and upperbody if a bee, and body and wings of a dragon fly. Also had large black like whiskers pertruding off the sides. Very strange insect indeed would love any direction you could point me in with this. -Eric P.
Signature: Eric P.

Stump Stabber

Hi Eric,
This is a Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurusGiant Ichneumons are commonly called Stump Stabbers. The female stabs a stump using her long ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the surface of dead and dying trees that are infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Wow…such a quick reply, thanks so much! I guess my family and I have picked out names for our discovery in vain. So much for a rare island insect being undiscovered yet!
Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large wasp
Location: Gaithersburg MD
August 5, 2012 1:42 pm
I live in MD and have a lilac bush that is now covered with what appear to be giant wasps. There is ”saw” dust at the base of the tree, there is a sweet odor, and there seems to be several dead limbs now on my bush. The wasps seem to be eating into the tree and are about 2 inches long. They are congregated at the base and several limb joints.
Signature: Vandy

Cicada Killer

Hi Vandy,
These are Cicada Killers and though they are feeding on the sap produced by the lilac bush, we do not believe they are responsible for the poor health of the plant.  The sawdust and dead limbs are most likely due to some other cause.  Perhaps some other insect is compromising the health of the lilac shrub, and the result is the sweet smelling sap that the Cicada Killers are feeding upon.  Cicada Killer females prey on Cicadas to feed their broods which are found in subterranean nests.  Cicada Killers are solitary wasps, and despite their large size, and their habit of defending territory, Cicada Killers are not prone to stinging humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wasp which brings confusion
Location: indianapolis indiana
August 5, 2012 9:48 am
this is the first summer I have seen these. started noticing them pollinating my mint. have done internet research but cannot decide what they are. have asked around 2 friends for their opinion and no 1 can decide either.
Signature: harley page

Great Black Wasp

Hi Harley,
We believe this is a Grass Carrying Wasp,
Isodontia apicalis, and it is not considered an aggressive species.  The individual in your photograph appears to be dead, perhaps the result of Unnecessary Carnage.  We based our identification on this BugGuide image which has a comment from Eric Eaton with this description:  “The silver face and pale pubescence on the thorax is pretty distinctive. … Differences are so subtle among the sphecids in general that it just takes years of practice to differentiate.”  Sadly, your photo does not show the face.  We will try to contact Eric Eaton to see if we can get a confirmation or a correction to that identification.  BugGuide contains some fascinating information on the genus, including:  “Females make nests in a tree, hollow stem or other cavity, divide into sections and close with grass. They provision with Orthoptera (Tettigoniidae, Gryllidae)” and “These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Pretty certain that is actually a Great Black Wasp, Sphex pensylvanicus, one that hunts katydids and digs an underground burrow. It does look like a female, so it should have been very large (inch-and-a-half or so).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
August 4, 2012 11:31 pm
Hi, I have never taken a photo of a bug before but this one was something I have never seen before. This bug was walking on my car on a cool summer day (August 4, 2012) in Grand Forks, North Dakota. We never have ”strange” bugs here because of the harsh winters (I think) so when I saw this I guess I kind of freaked out.
Signature: Mrs. Reiser

American Pelecinid

Dear Mrs. Reiser,
This is a female American Pelecinid, and your description of it being “strange” is very appropriate since it is the only member of its family found in North America.  The female American Pelecinid uses her long, flexible abdomen to lay eggs underground on or close to the subterranean grubs of June Beetles.  The American Pelecinid is classified as a parasitic Hymenopteran, an insect order that contains wasps and bees, however the American Pelecinid does not sting and is not a threat to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination