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

Subject: What is this?
Location: Simi Valley, CA USA
May 30, 2013 6:40 pm
My daughter just brought this into our house. What is it? It looks like a cross between a bee and a furry spider. She found it in the sand. Thank you!
Signature: Reg

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Reg,
Tell your daughter to be cautious.  This is a Velvet Ant in the genus
Dasymutilla.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps that are reported to have a very painful sting.  They are not aggressive, but they do defend themselves.  We are not certain of the species, but this might be Dasymutilla sackenii since it is close to this photo on BugGuide.  We are postdating your submission to go live in early June while we are out of the office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: HELP
Location: San Angelo, Texas
May 26, 2013 3:05 pm
I found several bugs in my apartment that have a body of an ant with fly wings and back legs like a cricket. What is it? Do they bite?
Signature: Thanks

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

This is a beneficial Ensign Wasp.  The female lays her eggs in the ootheca or egg case of cockroaches and the larval wasps feed on the developing cockroach eggs, helping to control the populations of the household pests.  We have postdated your submission to go live during our absence from the office in early June.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bees
Location: costa rica
May 19, 2013 2:07 pm
Hi!
we saw these nest of bees, in Costa Rica.
We saw very well the activity inside the nest!
Any idea about the species? Not easy, I can believe!
thanks
fred
Signature: fred from belgium

Paper Wasp Nest

Vespid Wasp Nest

Hi Fred,
These are not bees.  They are Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes

Paper Wasp Nest

Vespid Wasp Nest

We found a matching photo on Nature.Com on a page entitled An Introduction to Eusociality, but they are only identified to the genus level.

Paper Wasps:  genus Polistes

Vespid Wasps: genus Polybia

Correction courtesy of Cesar Crash via comment:  Polybia species
Thanks to Cesar’s comment, we looked up his link to the Animal Communications Project where we scrutized the photo of the Polybia Wasps.  We did a web search of the genus and found BugEric which mentions they are Vespid Wasps.  Eric writes:  “Thanks to Google image searches, I eventually pinpointed the wasp as the species Polybia emaciata. It is one of the few social vespid wasps that builds its nest of mud instead of paper. The more durable nature of the mud envelope allows the wasps to “hunker down” or flee when faced with a potential attack by a vertebrate predator. Contrast this behavior with the violent attacks launched by social wasps that build relatively flimsy nests of paper.”  Thanks to Eric’s comments, we have moved this to the Hornets and Yellow Jackets category.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Curious about an unknown bug
Location: Found hidden in the dirt.
May 3, 2013 12:26 am
Hello, bugman. I was wondering around in the backyard earlier today and I found this very interesting bug. I’m not sure what it really is, but i was really curious to find out. I captured it and now I have it in a open container I made for it. I asked some friends and family if they might know it but no. I tried finding pictures or websites that might help me identify the bug, but no help. Then I ran into whatsthatbug.com! I’m not really sure how to explain what type of bug it is but to me, it looks like a bee or a fly mixed with another insect. I’m not too sure, but i’ll leave it to the experts! I’d love to hear back! Thank you so much!
Signature: Miguel

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Miguel,
Handle this gal with caution.  She is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp reported to have a very painful sting.  We don’t want to try to identify your Velvet Ant to the species level without a location.  If you are in Arizona, this might be
Dasymutilla eminentia which is pictured on BugGuide.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Nighttime waspy thing?!
Location: Southern New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia
April 30, 2013 9:28 pm
Hello bugman! I have these annoying, non-aggressive wasp type bugs all over our property. I usually only find them at night, except for the occasional one that sneaks inside. I caught one the other day and he tried continuously to sting the paper towel, with what resembled a small stinger on his back end. They aren’t aggressive, they seem very unintelligent, and they are very thin in that there isn’t much matter to them. They are a reddish brown see-through color, with clear wings outlined in the same body color. I’ve found several different sizes of them as well. I’ve never seen or heard of a wasp being active at night, so I’m baffled as to what this could be! Southern NJ just outside Philadelphia, warm days(60-70º), cool spring nights(50-60º). Started noticing them last year around this time, lasting through the summer and warmer months of Fall. Any info you could give would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thank you :) (this picture i s zoomed in very close)
Signature: Annoyed in NJ

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Annoyed in NJ,
This is some species of Ichneumon, a member of a very large family of parasitic wasps.  Some species are attracted to lights at night.  See BugGuide for additional information on this family including this tidbit of information:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates).” 

Thank you so much for the information and quick response!  I look forward to learning more about these little buggers!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Clumsy mountain bee
Location: Ola, Idaho
April 29, 2013 10:16 pm
Here is a bee I photographed in a patch of Mule’s Ear. There were two other varieties of bee out that day, but these are the only ones that would stay still for a photo. I took these in late April at an elevation around 4000 feet near Ola, Idaho.
Signature: Buck Rekow

What's That Bee???

What’s That Hymenopteran???

Dear Buck,
We do not recognize your Bee and we haven’t time to research its identity prior to posting.  Perhaps one of our readers can supply a comment regarding the identity of this Solitary Bee.

Solitary Bee

Solitary Bee or Sawfly???

Update:  Probably a Sawfly
Thanks to a comment from Austin, we took a closer look, and while we still cannot provide a species, we believe Austin is correct that this is a Sawfly.  The clubbed antennae seem pretty convincing.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination