Currently viewing the category: "Parasitic Hymenopterans"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What insect is this?
Location: Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia
April 20, 2014 6:04 am
Hi there,
I came across this insect by some flowers in Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like it, so I thought I’d see if you know. Thanks.
Signature: Chris

Possibly Carrot Wasp

Possibly Carrot Wasp

Dear Chris,
Of this we are certain:  This is a parasitic wasp that is classified as Parasitica or Parasitic Apocrita, which is not a true taxonomic category, but it is a means to group parasitic wasps together.  We believe it is a Carrot Wasp in the family Gasteruptiidae, which we identified on BugGuide, and then verified on the Atlas of Living Australia as being a family that is found in Australia.  We may be wrong, but the look of the hind legs and the antennae as well as the ovipositor are good indications that we are correct.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are predators or predators-inquilines (consume larval food, not the larvae) of other Hymenoptera that nest in twigs and in wood.”  The Atlas of Living Australia notes:  “Females oviposit in the nests of solitary bees (Apidae) and wasps (Vespidae) , where the larvae are predator-inquilines, eating the host egg or larvae and consuming the pollen store. Adult gasteruptiids may be seen on flowers or hovering near bare ground, logs or trees.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please help me identify this bug.
Location: South Florida
April 12, 2014 7:44 pm
I live in South Florida and I keep noticing these bugs inside of our apartment. It just started happening around February. They have wings although I’ve never seen them fly. We get sprayed by the exterminator in our apartment so I think I’m seeing them after they have been poisoned. They also have long back legs. Please help! I have an infant and a two year old this worries me. Thanks !
Signature: Concerned Mom

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear Concerned Mom,
You should be concerned, but not because of this insect.  This is a beneficial Ensign Wasp, a species that lays eggs on the oothicae or egg cases of Cockroaches.  Developing Ensign Wasp larvae eat Cockroach Eggs and unhatched nymphs, helping to control the Cockroach population naturally, without the use of pesticides.  These dead Ensign Wasps are either the result of collateral damage due to spraying for Cockroaches, or they are the result of bug phobia.  Some folks believe any bug in the home is a problem, resulting in unnecessary spraying of potentially, environmentally toxic chemicals.  We believe that the use of pesticides in the home is much more harmful to infants and toddlers than an encounter with a beneficial Ensign Wasp which is not capable of stinging nor biting a human.

Thanks so much for your reply. When we first moved into our apartment we found out it was infested with cockroaches. They tried several different sprays and treatments finally the apartments pest control sprayed a bed bug spray that was extremely strong smelling all through the house. I don’t see cockroaches anymore except dead on occasion, but I see these often. Does it mean I still have a cockroach problem too? Is this something I should consider breaking my lease for because of my children? Thanks again for your reply.

Hi again Concerned Mom,
We do not want to provide any advice regarding relocation, but we can provide you with additional information that might help you make up your own mind.  There are several studies that link Cockroach infestations to asthma in humans.  According to the American Lung Association website:  “Cockroaches, those unpleasant and unsightly pests, are not just a problem to look at. They also produce substances, or allergens, that aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to those substances. The allergens produced by cockroaches are likely concentrated in their fecal matter and in fragments of their body parts. These tiny particles can become airborne and contaminate the air in your home.”  The site has much more information on the relationship between Cockroaches and asthma.  The pesticides versus the cockroach infestation seems like a choice between the lesser of two evils, and there are probably differing opinions on which is worse.  The Ensign Wasp continuing to manifest its appearance in your apartment is a good indication that the Cockroaches are still present, albeit unseen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Chalcid wasps from katydid eggs
Location: Kirksville, Missouri
April 10, 2014 1:02 pm
I discovered your site last fall in my search to identify some katydid eggs attached to a sweet gum ball. I kept the eggs on my desk in the hopes of seeing katydids hatching, but ended up having parasitized eggs–I had about a dozen chalcid wasps emerge from the eggs. Sadly, they didn’t survive.
I used this site and bugguide to figure out that they were chalcid wasps, but I’d like to narrow down the identification if possible.
Thanks!
Signature: AC Moore

Katydid Eggs Parasitized by Chalcid Wasp

Katydid Eggs Parasitized by Chalcid Wasp

Dear AC Moore,
We actually found your answer much faster than we anticipated.  We found this posting to BugGuide of Parasitized Katydid Eggs and a comment reads:  “The holes you are seeing are actually the emergence holes of wasps that parasitize the eggs of katydids. The wasps produce these circular holes to escape the confines of the egg in which they develop. When a katydid hatches it splits the side of the egg open. I know wasps in the genus
Anastatus (Eupelmidae) and Baryconus (Scelionidae) attack katydid eggs having reared some myself.”  We then searched for images of wasps in the two mentioned genera, and this image of a Baryconus species on zsi.gov looks nothing like your wasp, however the Anastatus that is pictured on BugGuide looks very much like your wasp.  You are correct.  It is a Chalcid.

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s yellow and black and has a long stinger?
Location: Singapore
April 7, 2014 10:57 pm
Hello!
I’m in Singapore and last night I looked down to find an insect crawling on my shoulder. (I was in bed, so…that was not fun.) It’s about the size of my thumb’s distal phalanx bone, and the stinger(?) looks quite long. Please help, I’m hoping it’s not a wasp!
Thanks for reading~
Signature: Jamie

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Jamie,
This is a Parasitic Wasp known as an Ichneumon, and for many years we claimed that Ichneumons did not sting.  What you have taken for a stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female Ichneumon.  We later learned that some Ichneumons are capable of stinging humans, but they are a rarity among the large number of members in the family.  According to BugGuide:  “arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.”  As a side note, the stinger in bees and wasps is a modified ovipositor that has adapted to multitasking:  laying eggs as well as stinging potential threats.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for the identification, and it’s good to know it’s unlikely to have stung me since it wasn’t that big! (I let it go later as well, so now I don’t have to feel too bad about letting a potentially harmful insect go around my place.) Also, huh, I always thought the stinger for bees/wasps was specifically for stinging. The more you know…!
Thanks again so much!
Cheers,
Jamie

Hi Jamie,
We should clarify one matter regarding the stingers of Bees and Wasps.  Generally, social species have a queen and workers with the workers being sterile females.  The stingers of the sterile, social workers, including Honey Bees and Hornets, only serves as a stinger.  In those cases, the modification that has evolved is no longer capable of multitasking.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Winged bug with a hard exoskeleton
Location: Suburban Philly, PA
April 7, 2014 11:53 am
Hi bugman! I’ve seen several of these bugs since moving into my apartment in suburban Philadelphia in 2007, although I usually find them dead under the TV stand. This guy, and one of his relatives a few days before, were alive. His relative was on my screen door at night (attracted to the light, maybe?) and was a lighter yellow color, while this guy is darker and managed to make it inside to the front window. After I snapped this photo he started flying around torturing my cat, so I whacked him with a flip-flop (I’m sorry! I don’t usually kill) and he had an incredibly hard exoskeleton – all my weight didn’t kill him. If he’s not dangerous, I’m content to try and catch them and put them outside if I ever find any more. Do you know what he is? We’ve had typical spring weather for the last few days – cool at night, warmish and alternating between damp and sunny during the day. Some of them (not this guy, but others) look like th ey have a large stinger.
Signature: Colleen

Possibly Scorpionfly

Nocturnal Ichneumon

Dear Colleen,
We are not certain of the identity of this insect, but our best guess is a Scorpionfly or other member of the order Mecoptera.  It looks somewhat like this member of the family Panorpodidae that is pictured on BugGuide.  We will try to get another opinion.

Eric Eaton provides a correction
Daniel:
That is one of the nocturnal ichneumon wasps.  Not enough detail to place to subfamily, let alone genus, species.
Eric

Daniel,
Thank you SO much! A quick Google search of Ichneumon wasps makes me think Eric was right. Good to know that’s an ovipostor and not a stinger. Looks like my kitty cat is safe :) Again, thanks – I didn’t expect such a quick reply!
~Colleen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp???
Location: Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand
March 23, 2014 10:11 am
Hi there. Attached is a picture of a wasp-like creature I found in my windowsill. I’ve never seen one before and a friend who lives nearby also found one in her house and has also never seen it before. We live in Whangarei, New Zealand which is in Northland (at the North of the North Island). We wanted to make sure it wasn’t a new immigrant.
Signature: Jana in New Zealand

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Hi Jana,
This is an Ichneumon, member of a group of Parasitic Wasps that prey upon Arthropods.  Many species of Ichneumons are very host specific, often preying upon a single species of Lepidoptera, Hemiptera or even one of the Arachnids.  Identifying the exact species of Ichneumon in the large and confusing family Ichneumonidae is a daunting task, but if you want to pursue that route, the Landcare Research site for New Zealand might be a good point of departure.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination