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

Mystery (to me) hornet
Location: Deep southern Illinois
October 31, 2011 3:12 pm
While hiking the other day I found this ”hornet” alone and chilly early one sunny day. Can you let me know what kind of bug this chilly fellow is?
Signature: JimmyDean

Potter Wasp

Dear JimmyDean,
This is a Potter or Mason Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae, though we are uncertain if Potter Wasp and Mason Wasp are synonymous or if they are two distinct groups within the family.  We believe we identified your Potter Wasp or Mason Wasp as
Pseudodynerus quadrisectus, based on photos posted to BugGuide which states it “Nests in borings made in wood, preys on caterpillars” and that it is found from “June-September (North Carolina)”.  Your individual was sighted significantly late in the season.  Perhaps a change in weather patterns is responsible.

Editor’s Note:  If you have a late Potter Wasp or other insect sighting, please submit it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this some sort of wasp?
Location: Northern Indiana (Goshen)
October 31, 2011 9:43 am
Can you help my family identify this bug/wasp/whatever-it-is? We found it on our sliding glass door last week (mid-October, late afternoonm, in Northern Indiana, weather is about 50 degrees F).
We strive to teach our children (ages 1 through 10) that bugs are fascinating, not scary, but this one looked rather menacing to all of us. So, we’re hoping for your help in identifying so that we can appreciate this glorious critter!
Signature: Many thanks! the Norris family

Stump Stabber

We might have figured it out…
Location: Goshen, Indiana
October 31, 2011 9:52 am
Just sent an email moments ago, and have since looked over your top ten. I think that the critter on our sliding glass door is a Giant Ichenumon? Thanks for your great website! Fascinating and fun!
Signature: The Norris family

Dear Norris Family,
We agree that you have identified one of the Giant Ichneumons in the genus
Megarhyssa, though we are not certain of the species.  We are especially fond of the common name Stump Stabber for these parasitic hymenopterans.

Stump Stabber


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What type of fly is this?
Location: South Central Texas
October 28, 2011 9:22 pm
Mr Bugman,
I notice these flies mainly during the summer months…they’re not prolific, nor do they sting or bite…I’ve always just been curious as to what name and type of fly they are.
Signature: Mark Warfield

Ensign Wasp

Hi Mark,
The Ensign Wasp, as its name implies, is not a fly.  These parasitic hymenopterans lay their eggs in the ootheca or egg cases of cockroaches, helping to control the numbers of the infesting insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp Nest Preservation
Location: Ridgefield, CT
October 18, 2011 6:58 pm
Hi Again!
I live in CT and can now think of 3 beautiful wasp nests nearby and am wondering if it is ever safe to collect one as an object of beauty. I have read in other less reliable places that wasps abandon a nest in freezing weather and batten down elsewhere and don’t return to the old nest in Spring. This would lead me to find a way to retrieve one in say February if I could be sure it was empty and wouldn’t ever be needed again. I am attaching a photo of the nest and ask you to verify that it’s a wasp nest and settle once and for all the issue of collecting it. Thanks for all your wonderful work!
Signature: Hellywell

Bald Faced Hornets Nest

Dear Hellywell,
This appears to be the nest of a Bald Faced Hornet colony.  With the onset of cold weather, the workers die.  New queens will mate and hibernate.  The nest is not reused and it is safe to collect once the nest is abandoned. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird Insect!!
Location: Batavia, OHIO
October 14, 2011 10:29 pm
I was a few minutes from home today and saw this bug swarming toward my windshield, and finally landed and was whipping some kind of a tail or stinger around. It stayed on the window the rest of the way home and it actually terrified me to get out because I didn’t know if it could sting. What is this bug??
Signature: Mandy H.

Giant Ichneumon

Dear Mandy,
We can well imagine your fears considering the appearance of the Giant Ichneumon, however, they are perfectly harmless.  What appears to be a stinger is an ovipositor for laying eggs deep inside tree branches and trunks that are infested with the larvae of wood boring insects.  Stingers of bees and wasps are modified ovipositors, however the ovipositor of the Giant Ichneumon has not been modified to sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ceratomia catalpae parasitized by Apanteles congregatus
Location: Northeast Tennessee
Subject: Ceratomia catalpae parasitized by Apanteles congregatus
Location: Northeast Tennessee
October 10, 2011 9:02 pm
Catalpa Sphinx caterpillar with eggs from a parasitic Braconid wasp.
I took these at my grandparents’ house last weekend.
There was a congregation of about 6 caterpillars on the leaves of one branch of their Catawba tree. They were not moving and many had these eggs on them. Some were hanging (as if about to pupate, maybe?). Sorry they’re so blurry, my camera is really crappy:)
Love your site!
Signature: Easily Fascinated Strikes Again

Parasitized Catalpa Sphinx

Dear Easily Fascinated Strikes Again,
This is a very interesting sighting, though not really rare.  We wish your photos were clearer, but we are posting the best of them anyways.  Thanks so much for your concise personal observations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination