Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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Some type of paper wasp?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
October 1, 2011 1:58 pm
Here’s another wasp that’s new to my yard. Is it another type of paper wasp?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Potter Wasp

Hi again Anna,
Like the photo you submitted this past June, and the images you submitted in December, we believe this is another Mason Wasp or Potter Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae.  The angle of view for the photos and the variation in markings may be confusing you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

big orange wasp?
Location: St. Charles, Missouri
September 29, 2011 4:34 pm
I saw this on the sidewalk today. It was about an inch and a half long. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the picture until after my mom stepped on it! Please help!?
Signature: Steve

Pigeon Horntail

Dear Steve,
We hope the reason your mom stepped on this harmless Pigeon Horntail is because she didn’t see it while she was walking, but we suspect otherwise, so we are tagging this as Unnecessary Carnage.  Pigeon Horntails are Wood Wasps and they do not sting.  The Pigeon Horntail was selected as our Bug of the Month for September 2011.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A Bug I Photographed With Outstanding Coloring!
Location: Southern New Jersey
September 26, 2011 9:24 am
Hey bugman,
First time on your site. I actually have a bit of a bug phobia, but I got over my fears to shot this little guy, specifically because his coloring was so amazing! FYI I did not enhance his colors in any way. Wit htat said, I’d love to know what he is since I’ve never seen anything like this before! He was tiny… probably half the size of my pinky fingernail.
Thanks,
Signature: Jeff D.

Cuckoo Wasp

Hi Jeff,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae.  We agree the colors are magnificent.  Cuckoo Wasps have the ability to curl up into a ball to defend themselves.  Here is some information from BugGuide:  “Most species are external parasites of wasp and bee larvae … Some species are parasitoids and others cleptoparasites. Either way the host larva dies. … Parasitoids feed on the larva of the host and cleptoparasites ‘steal’ the host’s food. The food-stealing behavior of cleptoparasite species resembles that of the cuckoo bird and gave rise to the cuckoo wasp’s name. Hosts of parasitoid species include bees, sphecid wasps, potter wasps, sawflies, silk moths, and the eggs of stick insects. Cleptoparasitic species feed on provisions of sphecid wasp nests, which may include dead spiders, true bugs, aphids, or thrips. … The female sting has been modified into an egg-laying tube with highly reduced valvulae and poison gland. As a result, unlike most other aculeates, chrysidids cannot sting and can be easily handled.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Never seen before
Location: Macomb County, MI
September 25, 2011 3:10 pm
I’ve never seen this before. Do you know what kind of bug it is and is it dangerous?
Signature: Thank you very much. Ken

Pigeon Horntail

Hi Ken,
This Pigeon Horntail is a harmless Wood Wasp.  What appears to be a formidable stinger is actually an ovipositor that the female uses to penetrate wood to lay her eggs.  Any human less dense than wood could potentially be penetrated by a female Wood Wasp, though we have never received a report of that occurrence.  We have gotten some nice recent photos of Giant Ichneumons, which are the primary predator of the Pigeon Horntail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sceliphron caementarium in LA County – part 2
Location: E Los Angeles County
September 23, 2011 10:49 am
I sent pictures of the black and yellow mud dauber recently, and then discovered the mud daubed nest – mud huts? – for the larvae – at least I think so since these were on the inside of my garage door and the wasp was captured in my house. Now the connection is clear. I have never seen this carefully constructed wasp nest before so thought this might be a nice addition for identifying this wasp being in the vicinity. The nest was too high for me to put a comparison measure in the picture, but the tubes are about 1.5-2 inches in length and about 1/3-1/5 inch in diameter. The tubes are sealed in these pictures. About a week later, the doors were clearly open and tubes empty. When my gardener removed them, he broke open the mud and they were nearly hollow with only one dessimated carcass of a spider at the very end of one tube. Fascinating!
Signature: Fascinated in California

Mud Dauber Nest

Dear Fascinated in California,
Thank you for providing us with the image of the Mud Dauber Nest to accompany your previous posting of the adult wasp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help in IDing this wasp, please.
Location: Mason County, Ludington, MI
September 17, 2011 9:33 pm
Took the attached photo today at Ludington State Park in Ludington, MI. Would appreciate help in ID.
Signature: John

Potter Wasp

Hi John,
This is one of the Potter Wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
Eumenes fraternus based on images posted to BugGuide.  Potter Wasps are solitary wasps that build small mud nests provisioned with caterpillars that look like miniature ceramic urns or vases.   

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination