Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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What is this bug in my house?
Location: Northern Indiana
April 5, 2012 10:41 am
White antenna, wings, body has stinger. Looks like a carpenter ant or termite swarmer, but has a stinger and white antenna
pic #1 is view from the top
pic #2 is bottom view of bug
Signature: from Indiana

Spotted Wood Wasp

Though we did not recognize this insect, we thought it resembled some Wood Wasps we have seen.  We quickly identified it as a Spotted Wood Wasp, Xiphydria maculata, thanks to an excellent photo posted to BugGuide.  The antennae really are quite distinctive.

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Lovely…but what is it?
Location: Maryland
April 3, 2012 1:02 pm
This one has me stumped. I’ve checked my Audubon guide and typed the description into search engines…so far, nothing that is an exact match. Location: Maryland.
Signature: Barbara Thurlow

Ichneumon Wasp

Dear Barbara,
This truly is a gorgeous photo of a beautiful parasitic Hymenopteran.  We were pretty certain it is classified as an Ichneumon Wasp, and upon browsing BugGuide thoroughly, we believe we have found a match in an unidentified species in the genus
Melanichneumon.  This unidentified species of a male Ichneumon posted to BugGuide also looks similar, but it is only identified to the subfamily level.

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Ampulex compressa
Location: Pirituba, São Paulo city, Brazil
March 31, 2012 8:08 pm
I am resending this image because the summer is over here in Brazil, and this is the best shot I could take. This picture was taken just about time because this week, unfortunately, this tree was cut down.
Signature: Cesar Crash

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Hi Cesar,
Thanks for following up on the November posting of an Emerald Cockroach Wasp.

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Oman Superbug
Location: Jebal Akhdar, Hajar Mountains, Oman
March 17, 2012 7:39 am
Could you please identify this very aggresive large bug. We sighted two in the Hajar mountains of Oman, one of which was clearly eating a cricket and when we closed to look, very aggresively protected his meal.
Signature: Rich, Oman

Cricket Hunting Wasp from Oman

Dear Rich,
Though they may look alike superficially, you have photographed two different insects in completely different orders.  The one with the cricket is some species of Wasp, and we suspect it is a female that has captured a cricket to feed her brood.  Many wasps sting and paralyze prey and return it to the nest where they an egg of the still living prey that will remain alive, providing fresh meat for the developing larva.  The other insect appears to be a Robber Fly that might mimic the Wasp you have photographed.  The legs and antennae of the second insect were the deciding factors in our identification.

Robber Fly


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Location: melbourne, australia
March 7, 2012 6:47 am
I suspect a butterfly and bee cross bred to create a beautiful mutant..i am however no expert. I found it on my car and got as close as i could to take a photograph without it noticing me.
Signature: brittany

Possibly Wasp Moth

Dear Brittany,
We wish you photo showed more details. At first we thought that this was a Wasp Moth or Clearwing in the family Sesiidae, that mimic stinging wasps for protection, but now we believe this really is a Spider Wasp,
Cryptocheilus bicolor, a species that preys upon Huntsman Spiders. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Brown and yellow wasp/hornet?
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
February 23, 2012 8:07 pm
Dear Bugman, this creature has me befuddled. I tried looking up ”brown wasp” and found nothing similar – perhaps I gave up too soon? What puzzles me most is the apparent lack of eyes! It greeted me as I was coming home from work today (2/23/2012). It was 70 degrees and humid. Thanks much, and keep up the good work!
Signature: N. Fritz

Beheaded Paper Wasp

Dear N. Fritz,
Your Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes has no eyes because it has been decapitated and the entire head is missing.  Though we are not certain of the species, your individual does look somewhat like the images of Polistes dorsalis that are posted on BugGuide.  The more interesting mystery for us is “What beheaded this Paper Wasp?”  We cannot think of a predator that would want to eat just the head, so we suspect this beheading might be related to a territory battle between colonies.

Dear Daniel,
How interesting!  It had occurred to me that perhaps it was missing a head, so yesterday after I wrote you, I looked at this paper wasp again. Its abdomen was clearly and obviously moving up and down, so I thought it must still be alive.  Can insects live without a head for some time?

Dear N. Fritz,
Cockroaches are reported be be able to live (if it can be called living) for several weeks without a head, though we know of no statistics on Paper Wasps.  See Scientific American for information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination