Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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

Subject: Resend Please?
Location: Western North Carolina (outside Asheville)
August 4, 2012 9:50 am
I recently asked you about a bug identification of the attached photo. I just accidentally deleted your message (which was in my spam folder), and as it turns out, there’s no way to get it back. I didn’t even get to read the message. (Note to self: Drink more coffee before trying to do email in the morning.) Can you please resend your response? Thank you so much, and my deepest apologies for my morning-brain stupidity!
Signature: Starlie

Birch Sawfly

Hi Starlie,
We cannot recall if there was additional information in your original email.  This is a Birch Sawfly Larva,
Arge pectoralis, and we fear it is not well.  There is an unusual constriction in the body that makes us suspect that this individual might have fallen prey to a Tachinid or Chalcid or some other parasitoid that has laid her egg on the Sawfly which now has an internal parasite eating away at its internal organs.  Or, it might be that your aerial perspective shot shows the typical curve of the body with the terminal abdominal segments appearing to create a constriction.  You can refer to this BugGuide image as well as the BugGuide information page for more details on the Birch Sawfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant Ichneumon?
Location: Columbia, Maryland
August 2, 2012 3:48 pm
This bug rose helicopter-like up from the darkness of my garden weeds, leveled off, and flew away with it’s victim. An assassin bug? Looks like some pictures you have of an Ichneumon.
Signature: Linda

Hanging Thief captures Wasp

Hi Linda,
This is sure an impressive action photo.  The predator is a Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites, a group commonly called Hanging Thieves.  The prey is some species of wasp.  Hanging Thieves get their common name from their habit of feeding on prey while hanging from a single leg.

Thank you so much for such an instant response!
I like to take pictures of butterflies and occasionally “bugs.”  I just wish i had had the presence of mind to switch to video or off my macro setting to auto focus sports on my camera.  But at least I got one shot in focus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination