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

Subject: What in the world is this?!
Location: Castle Rock, CO
July 30, 2012 3:08 pm
Hi, We found this flying around our kids trampoline enoclosure today..very big and loud! Is that a stinger on its backside?? Would love to know what this is and is it as harmful as it looks?
Signature: The DeYoung Family

Pigeon Horntail

Dear DeYoung Family,
This Pigeon Horntail is a type of Wood Wasp, and what resembles a stinger is actually the ovipositor, the organ the female uses to lay eggs.  Pigeon Horntails do not sting people.  The ovipositor is used to deposit eggs under the bark of dead or dying trees and the larval Pigeon Horntails are wood boring insects.  While we do not blame you for killing what might have appeared to be a harmful insect, we hope that in the future you will remember that Pigeon Horntails are harmless and the larvae help to break down dead trees so that the nutrients can be reabsorbed into the soil.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Central Michigan
July 27, 2012 10:33 pm
A quick survey brought some suggestions… one of which was an ichneumon wasp. Are we right? This guy landed of the window of our business after a nasty hail storm today in Six Lakes, Michigan.
Signature: Gina

American Pelecinid

Hi Gina,
Ichneumon Wasp is a good guess, but not correct.  This American Pelecinid is the only member of its family found in North America, and like the Ichneumon, it is a parasitic Hymenopteran.  The female uses her long abdomen to deposit eggs underground and the larvae feed upon the grubs of June Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown wasp or ichneumon
Location: Island Park, Idaho
July 27, 2012 3:26 pm
Could you identify this flying bug for me. It was shot in Island Park, Idaho in July 2012.
Signature: Brent

Unknown Ichneumon

Hi Brent,
We agree that this is some species of Ichneumon, but after browsing through the BugGuide possibilities twice with no luck at a species or genus identity, we are unable to provide you with that information.  We are posting it as an unidentified Ichenumon and perhaps we will be able to determine the species in the future.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wasp?
Location: Hingham, Massachusetts
July 27, 2012 4:06 pm
This bug has made a home in my walkway to my back door. I am concerned it will sting my curious toddlers. What is it and how do I relocate it?
Signature: Liz

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Hi Liz,
The Great Golden Digger Wasp in your photo is a solitary species that is not aggressive.  This female has dug a nest that she provisions with Katydids to feed her brood.  Solitary Wasps do not produce many offspring.  Those that survive will not emerge from the nest until next spring.  We do not believe this Great Golden Digger Wasp poses any threat to your toddlers and we do not feel there is a need to attempt to relocate her, especially since relocation could probably not be achieved.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown flying bug?
Location: Longmont CO
July 26, 2012 1:53 pm
I think I may have been skipped when I post this earlier. I found this bug on my sliding glass door and when I opened the door to get a closer look it flew off and landed on the wall where I then snapped a quick picture. I am new to the area and I am not sure what type of bug this is. It looks like a combo of a moth/wasp.
Signature: Taylor

Ichneumon: Thyreodon atricolor

Hi Taylor,
It didn’t take us too long to correctly identify this parasitic Ichneumon Wasp as
Thyreodon atricolor by using the browse feature on BugGuide which states:  “Although most members of the huge family Ichneumonidae are difficult to identify, this large species is an easily recognized, day active, slow flying parasitoid of sphinx moth caterpillars.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cicada killers
Location: Warren County, New York
July 26, 2012 6:31 pm
Dear Bugman,
I thought your audience might enjoy these two cicada killer photos taken on July 18th, 2012, a very warm day in northern New York. It was over 90 degrees. One lucky shot is of a female with a cicada beneath her, just seconds before she rapidly dragged it down her burrow, which can be seen behind her, beneath her left wing. An extensive patch of sandy soil had several cicada killers patrolling it, including the male, also seen here, perched on a twig, less than an inch above the ground, by the entrance to another burrow. He flew off of the perch, a few yards or so, numerous times, only to return to the exact spot, apparently guarding his territory. The insect’s behavior was very much like that of a breeding male songbird, and I found it to be fascinating. It took me awhile to get within close enough distance to photograph him with a macro lens, but patience paid off.
Your truly,
Gerry Lemmo
Queensbury, NY
Signature: www.Gerry

Cicada Killer with Prey

Hi Gerry,
Thank you for sending us your photos and also much thanks for the detailed description of the events.  We are pleased to post your photos that show Cicada Killers under favorable conditions since we receive so many examples of Unnecessary Carnage of this magnificent wasp.

Male Cicada Killer


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination