Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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

Subject: Have simply no idea, never seen anything like this.
Location: Hinckley Scout Ranch in the High Uintahs
July 19, 2013 7:37 pm
Dearest Bugman,
My 13 year old just got home from Scout Camp held at Hinckley Scout Ranch in the high Uintahs near the border of WY and UT but in Utah. He only took a few photos and one video the entire week, but they were nearly all of this one strange, alien-looking insect, the likes of which I’ve never seen. It looks like something Hollywood would come up with for a sci-fi movie. I’m happy to share the video if you want, but for now I’ll just send photos. As long as we’re talking sci-fi movies, I guess I should end with ”Help me Bugman, You’re my only hope!” 😉
Additional details: From tentacles on the head to tentacle-things out the tail, it was probably no more than 5 inches. There were some thin tentacle things coming out from the tail that could extend more than twice the length as the body, that would flutter when in the air…stingers? Is this some kind of crazy wasp? These tentacles could point straight up, or curl all the way to the ground. It didn’t fly while the scouts were watching it, but seemed to have two small wings.
Signature: Blue

Ichneumon might be Rhysella nitida

Ichneumon resembles Rhyssella nitida

Dear Blue,
We are happy to come to your rescue, and we are thrilled to post your photos.  We are going to begin in a very general manner and hopefully end with what we believe might be a species identification.  This is a Giant Ichneumon in the subfamily Rhyssinae, and we have many photographs members in this subfamily in our archives, but almost all are from the genus
Megarhyssa.  We do not believe your individual belongs to that genus.  Your suspicions that this is “some kind of crazy wasp” are correct.  Ichneumons are parasitic Hymenopterans, the order that includes bees and wasps, but they are not classified as wasps.  The five inch long “tentacle” is actually the ovipositor of the female and she uses it to penetrate the wood to lay an egg on the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps.  According to BugGuide, Rhyssinids are:  “idiobiont ectoparasitoids of the immature wood-boring endopterygote insects, in our area usually larval woodwasps (Siricidae and Xiphydriidae), but may also develop as facultative hyperparasitoids using other woodwasp parasitoids as hosts or on virtually any endopterygote (some have even been cultured in the laboratory on entirely unnatural surrogate hosts).”  Alas, we don’t think many of those words are in our unabridged dictionary.  Your individual most closely resembles Rhyssela nitida which is pictured on BugGuide, however, BugGuide only reports them along the eastern seaboard.  That does not mean they do not range further west, only that BugGuide has not gotten any images from farther west.  Your individual seems to have black wings while the Rhyssela nitida images on BugGuide look like the wings are transparent, so we believe it is a different species.  We will try to get a confirmation on the species, however, we are positively thrilled to have this unrepresented Giant Ichneumon for our archives.

Giant Ichneumon

Giant Ichneumon, but which species

Daniel,
Wow.  I used to think I could read at a high level…just knocked that notion off the the ole’ pedestal! 😉
We are so happy to get your reply.  In case it might help, I have uploaded the video my son took (sorry some parts are shaky…no tripod and a bunch of scouts jostling for position, but there are some good moments) to YouTube so you can take a look.  While I was converting it for YouTube, I paused the video on some of the less-blurry frames and took screen shots. They’re poor quality, but in case some of the images may be of help to you and your colleagues, I’m attaching them to this message. I do apologize for the blurriness…remember they’re just still frame shots from a pretty low-quality camera.
We’re happy to have been able to give you something new to add to the body of knowledge, and look forward to any additional information you come up with.  He mentioned to me that this was in their troop’s actual campsite…a tidbit I didn’t know when I first wrote to you.
Best,
Blue (and Brandon, the kid we owe this to.)

Giant Ichneumon Oviposits

Giant Ichneumon Oviposits

Hi again Blue and Brandon,
As you indicate, the screenshots of the video are blurry, however, they do show the position of the ovipositor as it enters the log, which is quite different from the posture of the members of the genus
Megarhyssa when they oviposit.

Giant Ichneumon Oviposits

Giant Ichneumon Oviposits

Hi Daniel,
Well, it’s been several months. We were talking about this the other night and wondering if anything else was ever discovered/decided about the Giant Ichneumon. Were you to have any information we’d love to know more.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Blue

Hi Blue,
We didn’t learn anything new, but often we get comments on posts that are several years old.  We would recommend that you either check the posting with some degree of regularity, or post a comment so you will be notified of any new activity on the posting.

Update November 27, 2013:  Eric Eaton provides a possible identification
I just posted the link to the “Hymenopterist’s Forum” on Facebook.  I’ll let you know if anyone has anything to add.
Daniel:
Only reply so far is from Devon Henderson, a … very knowledgeable authority in Canada.  She thinks it is an ichneumon in the genus Dolichomitus, subfamily Pimplinae.  Judging from posts on Bugguide, that would seem to be a good bet.  Might not be possible to ID it from images alone, though.
Eric

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown insect
Location: Northern Atlantic
July 18, 2013 7:26 pm
This bug bit my girlfriend #3 times . she was walking her jack russell , behind the storage shed. She was bittin on the stomach. North Atlantic Region 7/17/ 2013 Pa.17961 .
Signature: Waiting patiently

Braconid, we believe

Braconid, we believe

Dear Waiting patiently,
This appears to be a Parasitoid Hymenopteran, a member of the insect order that includes such stinging insects as Wasps and Bees.  According to BugGuide:  “A very large and important group. Wasplike in appearance, but (with rare exceptions) do not sting.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination