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

Subject: Bug in backyard
Location: Stafford Tx. USA
April 24, 2013 12:06 pm
I live in Stafford TX and found this critter in my yard on a piece of iron…what is it??? Should we run !!!
Signature: Randy

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Dear Randy,
This is a most curious set of photos, and we are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton prior to posting.  This is a Caterpillar and we believe it might be an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus
Catocala.  They grow quite large.  You can also compare your image to this photo of an Underwing Caterpillar on BugGuide.  We are most curious about the surrounding objects.  They look like the pupae of parasitic Wasps known as Braconids.  The wasps are generally quite species specific.  Here is a photo from our archive of a Hornworm parasitized by Braconids.  The curious thing about your photo is that the pupae are not attached to the caterpillar.  Again, we hope to get a more professional opinion for you.

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Daniel:
I’m not an expert on caterpillars, but I think your scenario is right on.  Definitely braconid pupae.  This would be something interesting for Bugguide, and maybe someone else there knows more.
As of yesterday I am now writing blogs (ghostwriting, actually) for The Blogger Pool for a major third party client in the pest control industry.  So, I may not always get back to you as quickly as usual.  Plus, my wife and I are visiting her family out of state May 5-13, just so you know I won’t be online very often then.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect identification
Location: Miami, FL
April 11, 2013 4:35 pm
Hi, I was wondering if you could help me identify this insect I found inside my home, flying near a window. The end of its abdomen was wiggling around quite a bit and was even folded back a few times. I’ve attached a few photos I took with my phone.
Thanks a lot.
Signature: Kevin

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Hi Kevin,
This is an Ensign Wasp, and you should probably welcome it into your house as they lay their eggs in the oothica or eggcases of Cockroaches.  The larval wasps then feed on the developing Cockroaches.

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Bug?
Location: Central Oahu, Hi
March 3, 2013 12:57 pm
It’s about 2 inches long and the colors are bright neon blue, bright neon green, with orange on the legs. Oh and it has wings.
Signature: curious

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Dear curious,
This is a curious parasitic wasp known as the Emerald Cockroach Wasp,
Ampulex compressa, and you can read about its interesting life history in our archives.  In a compressed version, the female Emerald Cockroach Wasp preys upon Cockroaches to feed her brood by stinging the Cockroaches and turning them into zombies.  You may read more about the Emerald Cockroach Wasp on TrekNature where it states:  “The wasp is common in the tropical regions of South Asia, Africa and the Pacific islands. The flying wasps are more abundant in the warm seasons of the year.  A. compressa was introduced to Hawaii by F. X. Williams in 1941 as a method of biocontrol. This has been unsuccessful because of the territorial tendencies of the wasp, and the small scale on which they hunt.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown flying insect Australia
Location: Melbourne, Australia
February 13, 2013 6:31 pm
Hi,
I don’t want to overload you guys with questions, so I hope this second bug in as many days isn’t too much. I used to see these things all over the place in summer, but now they’ve become reasonably rare around here. I tried searching for it on the ’Down Under’ tag, but it doesn’t seem to exist in the first 60 pages.
The females of this insect seem to have massive ovipositors, but that’s about all I know of them, besides a happy affinity to spend all day flying hopelessly against glass windows.
Even if you don’t get around to looking at this, thanks very much for the site — you’ve done a great job with it.
Signature: Thanks, Tasha

Ichneumon

Hi Tasha,
This appears to us to be an Ichneumon, a type of Parasitic Wasp.  Sorry, no time right not for additional research.

Thank you for your fast response. If you do have time at a later point, I would be very interested to know what it’s parasitic to. Otherwise, thank you very much for your time, and I hope things go well for you!
Yours,
Tasha

Hi again Tasha,
Without knowing the species of Ichneumon, it would be impossible to determine the host.  According to the North American website BugGuide, they feed upon:  “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.”
  Some common host insects include caterpillars, beetles and the larvae of wood boring wasps.

Thank you again,
Now that I know what to look for, I think it’s the Orange Caterpillar Parasite — Netelia Producta. It seems most prevalent in Queensland (which is probably why trawling for ‘orange wasp Victoria’ didn’t help), but it appears it can come this far south, after I found record of a few sightings of it in Melbourne.
Have a wonderful time, and keep up the great work on the site,
Tasha.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Torymid infestation
Location: Michigan
January 25, 2013 1:06 pm
NOTE: RESUBMITTED WITH ACTUAL PHOTO – SORRY, NO MACRO LENS
We started noticing these small insects in a few windows around our house. They looked much like flying ants but had an ovipositor about 2/3 the length of their body. After some research the only thing that seemed to matched their size (1-3mm) and description were torymid wasps.
The strange thing is that it’s the dead of winter here and I have no idea where these originated or keep coming from. We’ve probably seen 50-100 typically located around windows.
My thoughts are they may have come from a very warm day a few weeks ago (60 deg F). The other options would be coming in on something or from our live Christmas tree this year.
Any thoughts and ideas for getting rid of them would be appreciated. I don’t care nearly as much as my wife does. She’s not excited when outnumbered by critters.
Signature: Stephan

Probably Torymid

Hi Stephan,
We agree that this looks very much like the images of Torymids that are pictured on BugGuide.  Torymids are considered Parasitic Hymenopterans and they are classified with the Chalcid Wasps.  We did some research and we believe we might have found the source of the “invasion” and we believe it will most likely end soon.  According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service website page on Torymids:  “Torymids have a wide host range with both plant and insect eating species.”  The site also states:  “Megastigmine torymids, in the New World, are entirely phytophagous, mostly within rosaceous and coniferous seeds. The major plant genera known to host these wasps are Abies, Cedrus, Chamaecyparis, Ilex, Juniperus, Larix, Picea, Pseudotsuga, Tsuga, Amelanchier, Rosa, and Pistacia (an introduced species) (Milliron 1949, Grissell 1989).”  The first mentions genus
Abies is comprised of fir trees according to the Free Online Dictionary, and fir trees are common Christmas trees.  We believe you were correct in suspecting this Torymid invasion is related to the Christmas tree.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Longhorn Ant?
Location: Southern New Jersey
January 11, 2013 2:19 am
Ok, this one has me stumped. I spotted this inside the house on Nov. 25 and I cannot remember seeing anything similar to it before. I’m not even sure whether to call it an ant, ground wasp or other. The insect is about 1/2 inch long and walked in an ant-like fashion.
Signature: Wileyscott

Female Ichneumon: Gelis species

Dear Wileyscott,
We deduced because of the stinger and the antennae that this was a female Parasitoid Wasp, most likely an Ichneumon, and we were correct.  Upon researching, we matched your image to this photo of a
Gelis species female on BugGuideBugGuide notes that there are over 82 species in the genus in North America, and in our opinion, they look very much alike.  BugGuide also notes:  “Many species of Gelis are wingless. Habits are diverse. Many are external parasites of Lepidoptera in cocoons, others are parasitic on Symphyta, spiders, Diptera larvae and pupae, or wood-boring Coleoptera larvae. Many are Hyperparasites.”  Ichneumons, Wasps and Ants are all in the same Order, Hymenoptera.

Thank you! I am familiar with Ichneumon at least by name, but I was unaware there were wingless varieties.
Scott

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination