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

Subject: Backyard Wasp
Location: West Virginia
June 9, 2014 8:42 pm
Can you please help identify this bug? Thank you!
Signature: Bob Escargot

Male Stump Stabbers await emergence of female

Male Stump Stabbers await emergence of female

Dear Bob,
What a wonderful image you have provided.  These are male Giant Ichneumons in the genus
Megarhyssa, and females of the genus are commonly called Stump Stabbers because of the way they use a lengthy ovipositor, sometimes as long as five inches, to lay eggs beneath the surface of dead or dying trees or branches.  That wood is infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps like the Pigeon Horntail, and the larval Ichneumons feed on the larval Wood Wasps.  We believe these males are awaiting the emergence of a virgin female who has begun to release pheromones as she makes her way back to the surface so that they can mate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug with long sting
Location: Hungary, Fót
May 20, 2014 6:27 am
Dear Bugman!
I have found this strange bug in my friend’s house in Fót, a small town near Budapest the capital of Hungary.
Sadly he has killed it, and took it’s head off for it to not suffer.
He was scared that it might be a tropical mosquito which came with a shipment of bananas.
Could you please tell me, what kind of bug is this, and if it’s any dangerous?
Signature: Tom

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Tom,
This is a parasitic wasp, most likely an Ichneumon, and though it is quite frightening, Ichneumons are not aggressive and they do not attempt to sting humans.  What appears to be a stinger is actually an ovipositor, an organ that has evolved so that the female can deposit her eggs where they will hatch and the developing larva will have access to a food supply.  Your individual resembles the North American Stump Stabbers in the genus
Megarhyssa, and the female wasp uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs in stumps and branches that are infested with wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps known as Pigeon Horntails as the larvae of the Pigeon Horntail is the sole food of the larvae of the Stump Stabber.  Your Ichneumon looks very similar to this Perithous species that is pictured on FlickR.  Alas, the folks who post to FlickR never seem to provide a location for their images.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parasite chain!
Location: Israel
May 13, 2014 4:09 am
Hi Bug people!
My son and I were witness to a great story unfolding a few days ago. It started with someone eating my son’s colrabi plants, and upon close inspection we collected several cabbage white caterpillars and put them in a large glass jar, along with a few cabbage leaves (from the store but they didn’t complain), and covered with gauze.
Within a couple days, the caterpillars (all of them) climbed up the sides of the jar, anchored themselves to the glass, and died. Numerous small yellow maggots emerged from each one and pupated, so each corpse was surrounded by what looked like yellow woolly rice.
We took some pictures and waited a few more days, and walla! Wasps! (I’m guessing braconids of some sort, but I can’t be sure).
The colrabi – caterpillar – wasp cycle was complete!
I’m attaching some of the pictures so you and your viewers can enjoy.
Signature: Ben, from Israel

Cabbage White with Wasp Pupae

Cabbage White with Wasp Pupae

Hi Ben,
Thanks for sending us these wonderful images of the life cycle of a Parasitic Wasp.  We cannot say for certain what family of Parasitoids this wasp is classified into.  We located an image on Visuals Unlimited of a similarly parasitized Cabbage White Caterpillar, and the parasitoid is identified as
Cotesia glomerata.  Cotesia glomerata is classified as a Braconid on BugGuide, and the adult wasp pictured on BugGuide also looks like your individual, so we are concluding that you are most likely correct.

Parasitic Wasp

Parasitic Wasp

Parasitic Wasps

Parasitic Wasps

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 oothecae 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