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

identity unknown
Location: pulau ubin, singapore
August 23, 2011 8:51 am
hello mr bugman, please Identify my black fly. i found this bug digging in the white sand until it make a whole.
Signature: anything

Thread Waisted Wasp in our opinion

Dear anything,
We believe this is a Thread Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, and we are struck by the similarity between your wasp’s face and this Great Golden Digger Wasp posted to BugGuide.  We believe your Asian species may be closely related to our North American species.  The female Great Golden Digger Wasp provisions her nest with paralyzed Katydids to feed her brood.

Thanks for your effort. But thread-waisted wasp has a red color near the its tail but my one is a pure black . For a moment i will use the name you given to me. Thanks

The family Sphecidae is known as the Thread Waisted Wasps and it probably contains thousands of species world wide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whats this?
Location: Wigan
August 23, 2011 5:56 am
Hi, can you identify what this bug is and if it needs getting rid of? its in my dogs yard and quite near to our front door. I see them coming in and out of the nest frequently.
Signature: Jenny

Square Headed Wasp

Hi Jenny,
As we prepared to post your identification request, we needed to research Wigan since we were uncertain if it was a location or a typographical error.  We did locate a Wikipedia entry that identified Wigan as a town in greater Manchester, England, so we are indicating your location as U.K.  We believe this is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we learned on BugGuidethat “Some nest in hollow stems or in abandoned galleries in wood, others burrow in the ground. Prey is mostly flies, but some utilize other insects.”  Assuming that your individual is one that hunts flies, you can determine if you want a predator that reduces the number of flies attracted to your dogs’ feces and potentially entering your front door or not.  These are solitary wasps, and though you may have numerous individuals nesting in the same vicinity, each is excavated by a single female who provisions the nest with flies for her developing larvae.  Solitary Wasps do not defend their nests in the same aggressive manner as social wasps like Yellowjackets.

Square Headed Wasp Nest


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird lookin bug!
August 20, 2011
So we just pulled into a campsite outside of Mobil, Alabama and saw this little guy running around. Never seen them were I’m from any ideas?
Sean Reid


Hi Sean,
We hope our response got to you before you tried picking up this Velvet Ant.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps and they can sting.  This species,
Dasymutilla occidentalis, is reported to have a sting that is so painful they are called Cowkillers.  Once a reader supplied a comment that when cows get stung, they often begin running, sometimes falling down and injuring themselves to the point that they have to be put down, hence the name Cowkiller.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Some sort of spider wasp
Location: Bel Air, Maryland, U.S.A.
August 20, 2011 6:14 pm
I was coming back to the house from the garden. I walked around the corner and noticed a wasp fly up and away from a spider. I got to the door and it returned to the spider. I grabbed the camera and tried to get a couple shots. I couldn’t get very close without it flying off. So I snapped a picture from as close as I could get. The spider is pretty large, just slightly smaller than a quarter.
It was about 4 p.m. on August 20 near Bel Air, Maryland. Temperature was about 88F and it was rather humid since we’ve been having thunder storms pretty much ever evening.
I have a larger photo if it will help.
Signature: Greg in Maryland

Spider Wasp attacks Wolf Spider

Dear Greg,
We are very happy to be posting your thrilling photo to our Food Chain page.  You are correct that this is a Spider Wasp.  We have identified it as
Tachypompilus ferrugineus based on photos posted to BugGuide.  Though the curled position of the spider does not permit us to be certain of its identity, we thought it must be either a Wolf Spider or a Funnel Web Spider, but the genus page for Tachypompilus on BugGuide indicates:  “Females provision nests mainly with Lycosids.”  That would indicate that the spider in your photo is a Wolf Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Interesting Alaska Bug in June
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
August 21, 2011 12:53 am
Hi, we just found your site and have already found it really interesting. We are hoping you can help us identify an insect we saw in June at our house in Fairbanks, Alaska. As you can see, it was on a dandelion. We’ve looked, but we can’t figure it out. We’d really appreciate any help. Thanks!
Signature: Mother and Son bug fans

Elm Sawfly

Dear Mother and Son bug fans,
This magnificent creature is an Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, a nonstinging relative of bees and wasps that has a foliage feeding larva that resembles a caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sphex nudus?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
August 20, 2011 6:02 pm
I think, thanks to a hint that Eric Eaton posted on, that I have this properly identified as a Sphex nudus (Katydid wasp). Can you please confirm?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Spider Wasp

Hi Anna,
Goodness, you have sent us a few tough identifications, and though we spent some time trying to research identities, we didn’t have much luck.  We are not sure which comment attributed to Eric Eaton has caused you to believe this is a Katydid Wasp, but we are not certain the Katydid Wasp is found in California based on the BugGuide distribution map.  There are similarities between your individual and the Katydid Wasp, and it is possible it is a similar looking relative that is not represented on BugGuide.  We wish you had a photo that showed the face better.  We believe this is most likely one of the Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae, however, we were unable to find a match on BugGuide.  These are the family characteristics that have influenced our opinion:  “Typically dark colored with smoky or yellowish wings; a few are brightly colored.  Slender with long and spiny legs, hind femora typically extending beyond tip of abdomen.   Tibiae of rear legs have two prominent spines at apex (distal end, next to tarsi).”  We will contact Eric Eaton to try to get his opinion.

Spider Wasp

Eric Eaton provides Spider Wasp identity
Your first instincts are correct.  This is a spider wasp, Episyron coterminus posterus:
Nice images, too.

Hi Daniel,
I’m sorry to have sent you tough identifications.  You know, as I continued looking at distribution maps and the faces of the Katydid Wasps, I started to doubt my identifications.  I figured I’d just wait to hear from you.  Thanks very much.  If you have a chance, will you please also thank Eric Eaton for me?
As I read more on this wasp, I’m surprised at how long it held still for me – almost 5 minutes.  I really do have to think about getting a little better camera.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination