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

Subject: How to get rid of dogwood sawfly larvae
Location: Georgian Bay, Lake Huron
August 30, 2013 12:13 pm
My dogwood bush/tree won’t last the night. Help! Thank you,
from Georgian Bay, Ontario Canada
photos copyright all rights reserved Karen Walsh
Signature: Desperate

Dogwood Sawfly Larvae

Dogwood Sawfly Larvae

Dear Desperate,
We don’t provide extermination advice.  You can try hand picking the Dogwood Sawfly Larvae,
Macremphytus tarsatus, but we don’t believe you need to worry about your dogwood surviving.  Loosing its leaves this season will not weaken your plant, however, you will be deprived of the lovely autumn display of the dogwood’s change to red this year.  Populations of plant feeding insects tend to come in cycles.  You might find some helpful information on the Penn State Woody Ornamental Integrated Pest Management sheet or the IPM of Midwest Landscapes sheet.

Dogwood Sawfly Larvae

Dogwood Sawfly Larvae

Thanks so much for replying. Very  helpful!

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Colorful Wasps of Summer
Location: Central Maryland, USA
August 27, 2013 10:04 am
Bugman, the wasps and bees really like this particular hemlock weed with many colorful varieties visiting it today. Looks like a Metallic Sweat Bee, a Digger Wasp, and one other black/white wasp. Would the black wasp with white bands possibly be a type of Mason Wasp?
Signature: Roger S.

Metallic Sweat Bee

Metallic Sweat Bee

Hi Roger,
Generally we don’t like making postings with diverse insects, but all your pollinators are in the order Hymenoptera, and they are all visiting the same blossoms for the same reason, to feed on nectar, so we are making an exception.  We agree with your identifications of the Metallic Sweat Bee which looks very much like this image on BugGuide, and the Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia.

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

The third wasp is most likely a Potter Wasp and we believe it is in the genus Eumenes, which you can find pictured on BugGuide, however, we were not able to confirm a species identification.

Potter Wasp

Potter Wasp

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Which Wasp?
Location: Long Island, NY
August 26, 2013 3:51 pm
I could not identify this one here or at BugGuide.
A little more help, please?
Signature: Carl

Blue Mud Wasp

Blue Mud Wasp

Hi Carl,
We believe this is a Blue Mud Wasp, Chalybion californicum, but we are not certain.  We will try to get a second opinion.  See BugGuide for photos of the Blue Mud Wasp.  The iridescence of the wings is only visible in your second photo.

Blue Mud Wasp

Blue Mud Wasp

Eric Eaton provides an identification:  Male Great Black Wasp
I’d say a male Great Black Wasp, Sphex pensylvanicus.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of wasp?
Location: Wauwatosa, WI
August 6, 2013 12:03 pm
This wasp landed on my friend today. Looks like some kind of mutated paper wasp with the elongated abdomen. There is also not much of a transition between abdomen and thorax and it’s usually very pronounced in wasps. Any idea what it is? Thank you!
Signature: Lucas B.

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

Hi Lucas,
This is a Wood Wasp known as a Pigeon Horntail.  The larvae bore in the wood of dead and dying trees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black and Yellow Wasp
Location: Trinity Alps, California
August 24, 2013 6:50 pm
Hi. This guy was on a Zinnia blossom today. I think it may be a Yellow Jacket but it doesn’t seem quite right. This is larger than the Yellow Jackets around here. About an inch long. Seemed to be collecting pollen or laying eggs. Thanks for your help.
Signature: Karen Horn

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Hi Karen,
This is a Sand Wasp in the tribe Bembicini and probably the subtribe Bembicina.  According to BugGuide:  “About three quarters of the species prey on Diptera, and it is believed that fly predation is ancestral in the group; the rest prey on Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Neuroptera, Odonata, and/or Homoptera.”  We believe your individual is in the genus
Bembix and BugGuide has some interesting information on these Sand Wasps, including:  “Females provision their nest with flies which the larvae feed on (a single developing larva may eat more than twenty flies)” and “Provisioning is progressive. The females provide a greater number of prey over subsequent days during larval growth. Adults are excellent diggers and can disappear below the surface of loose sand within seconds.”  We know of a freeway overpass in in industrial part of downtown Los Angeles that is about as far away from a natural area as one can get.  The sandy soil under that freeway is populated by Sand Wasps each summer and we suspect they play an important role in the control of the fly population in the vicinity.

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Thank you so much for your reply!
One question:  Are they pollinators?  Do they collect pollen?  Mine was very busy in that Zinnia and I noticed several other pictures on your website with the Sand Wasps on flowers.
Thanks again, Karen Horn

Adult Sand Wasps do visit flowers for nectar.  Like many adult wasps, Sand Wasps take nectar, but they hunt insect prey for the developing larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What wasp is this?
Location: Upper Marlboro,MD
August 23, 2013 6:01 am
Approximately 3/4”flying in swarms several inches above turf.No obvious ground holes.
Signature: JFR

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Hi JFR,
We are so sad, and we are hoping that by posting your images and tagging them as Unnecessary Carnage, we will educate both you and our public about these beautiful and beneficial Digger Wasps or Blue-Winged Wasps,
Scolia dubia.  They are solitary wasps and they are not an aggressive species, despite the stinging capabilities of the females.  Males do not sting.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are parasites of green June beetles and Japanese beetles” and “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of the Green June Beetle, Cotinis, and the Japanese Beetle Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”  Japanese Beetles are an invasive exotic species that can decimate an ornamental garden if there are large numbers.  Any insect that helps to control Japanese Beetle populations naturally is beneficial.  We hope you will reconsider your original impulse to eradicate these majestic Digger Wasps and allow nature to keep any population balance of potential pest insects in check.

Digger Wasps

Digger Wasps

CORRECTION:  NOT Unnecessary Carnage
Hi Daniel..
I actually found these two deceased and in no way contributed to their demise.
After I submitted my request to you I searched the web and was able to I’d them and it makes sense that they are there given the presence of Japanese Beetles in the area.

Thanks so much for the clarification.  We are happy that no carnage was involved  These appear to be males, and males do not live as long as females.  Male Digger Wasps likely die shortly after mating while females need to live longer to hunt and lay eggs.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination