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

Subject: What is this wasplike insect?
Location: Riverbank in Salisbury, south UK
June 25, 2012 9:28 am
About 3/4 inch (20mm) long. Seen flying lazily, with legs dangling, along a riverbank in southern UK. Settled on nettle leaf and commenced cleaning its wings and antennae. Allowed me to get within inches to photograph
Signature: Rich


Hi Rich,
We don’t know.  Normally, we would not have many reservations identifying this as a Wasp, but it might actually be a Bee.  There are several Cuckoo Bees in the UK that look more like wasps than bees.  The best we can do at the moment is to say it is in the order Hymenoptera which included Bees and Wasps as well as Ants and Sawflies.  Searching several UK websites including Garden Life,
Bugs and Weeds and Eakringbirds did not produce anything conclusive.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some insight.

OK, thanks for the prompt reply. I had a good hunt round before I came to you, I’ll hunt some more and we’ll see how it goes
Best to you

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Well, this is a very nice image of a sawfly in the family Tenthredinidae (common sawflies), and probably the genus Tenthredo.

Wow! These experts hardly give one a chance to start looking. Well done Eric and again many thanks
Kind regards

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: it looks like a damselfly
Location: Ottawa Ontario
June 24, 2012 10:54 pm
Ive never seen a damselfly like this before especially with the three prongs from the end. The wings and head really resemble the typical damselfly here in Canada. However from looking through images on this site I dont see it. Can you help me figure out what it is
Signature: Curious


Dear Curious,
The quality of your photo is poor and the dead creature is missing a head, but we believe this is an Ichneumon, a species of parasitic wasp.  It most resembles the genus
Megarhyssa, however, the coloration is not typical of the species we are familiar with in that genus.  See this photo from BugGuide for a nice view of the three pronged ovipositor of Megarhyssa nortoni.  We hope to get a second opinion from Eric Eaton.  Can you provide any size information?

Eric Eaton provides an identification!!!
Assuming this is from the U.S. or Canada, I would bet on Dolichomitus irritator:
They get pretty large in their own right.

Thanks Eric,
That species name “
irritator” is very suggestive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange wasp with blue wings
Location: Warsaw, MO
June 24, 2012 11:12 pm
I’ve searched all over and cannot match this wasp to anything I find. It has a distinguishing marking on its back.
Signature: Shane

Paper Wasp

Hi Shane,
This is a species of Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes which BugGuide describes as:  “Semi-social wasps. Unlike social (eusocial) wasps, where workers are sterile females, in Polistes all females are potential breeders.”  We are uncertain of the exact species, but Polistes metricus has similar thoracic markings though the abdomen is darker.  See BugGuide for photos of that species.  Polistes carolina, the Red Wasp (also on BugGuide), has no markings on the thorax, but otherwise looks very similar to your wasps.  Perhaps your wasps are a hybrid, a color variation, or a different species altogether.

Paper Wasps

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big black bug
Location: Northern (lower) San Pedro River, Cochise County, AZ
June 23, 2012 3:01 pm
Do you have any ideas what this thing is? I’d love to know. I saw it along a wet section of the lower San Pedro River in Cochise County in southern Arizona at around 9:00am on 6/16/12. It was on the edge of the water, moving around a bit from plant to plant but otherwise not doing very much of anything.
Thanks very much!
Signature: LIsa in AZ

Tarantula Hawk: Yes or No???

Hi Lisa,
We do not want to go too far on our identification until we have confirmation or correction from Eric Eaton.  We believe this might be a Tarantula Hawk,
Pepsis mexicana, which we found on BugGuide.

Possibly Pepsis mexicana

Eric Eaton Responds
Yes, either Pepsis grossa (if gigantic), or Pepsis mexicana (if much smaller).

Hi Daniel-
I hope this email actually gets to you!  We certainly have Tarantula Hawks where I live, but I thought they always have orange wings.  Is that not true then?
Thanks very much!

Hi again Lisa,
We are forwarding Eric Eaton’s confirmation.  You can see from the photos of
Pepsis grossa and Pepsis mexicana from BugGuide that there are all black Tarantula Hawks, though orange wings and often orange antennae are the more common and aposomatic coloration for the genus.  BugGuide also notes that Pepsis grossa is:  “Very large, with two color forms: Orange-winged (xanthic) and black-winged (melanic). The two color forms are not often seen in the same locality. Melanic forms are easily confused with Pepsis mexicana, but that species is always much smaller in size than P. grossa.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge Wasp?
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
June 23, 2012 12:38 pm
I had an infestation of what I call Mahogany wasps don’t know the actual name. I killed them over the course of two weeks a few a days since they were eating all my monarch caterpillars but then this other type of wasp showed up and I have never seen this type before
Signature: Thank You, Paul

Cicada Killer Carnage

Hi Paul,
When we posted the First Cicada Killer Photo of 2012 a few days ago, we predicted that the Cicada Killer Carnage photos would soon begin to arrive.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive wasps but their size makes them intimidating and many folks would rather kill first before learning anything about them.  They will not harm your Monarch Caterpillars and we would encourage more tolerance in the future.  We would encourage you to read more about this remarkable wasp on our site as well as on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: whats this bug?
Location: near forest. asphalt. southern Finland
June 23, 2012 6:58 am
Was going to forest and found this on the ground wondering what the heck is this
Signature: WTB


This is a Sawfly in the family Cimbicidae.  These large relatives of bees and wasps do not sting.  We are not familiar with European species, but you can read about the North American relatives on BugGuide.  Here is a page called Trichiosoma with a photo that looks somewhat similar that we found on a link from Mavicanet.  We get very few identification requests from Finland and we are uncertain why that is the case.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination