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

Location: Morocco
November 24, 2016 10:09 am
Dear Daniel Marlos:
Just happened upon your site and decided to let you know about my own minor efforts in entomology. I spend a good deal of my time (retired) in Morocco and one thing I do is take photos of all sorts of subjects, including plenty of ‘bug’ pictures – especially bees and butterflies. Many are as yet to be uploaded since I’m trying to learn the basics about taxonomy but, alas, it’s slow going!
… Thanks for any help or suggestions you might offer.
Signature: Jearld Moldenhauer

Scarab Hunter Wasp, we believe

Scarab Hunter Wasp, we believe

Dear Jearld,
WE believe the hairy Hymenopteran is a Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae.  Here is an image that looks similar that is posted to PicClick, but we can’t find any information on the species.  Though the colors are quite different, the body morphology of this
Scolia dubia posted to BugGuide looks similar to that of your individual.  Your other wasp might be a Paper Wasp in the subfamily Polistinae.

Possibly Paper Wasp

Possibly Paper Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ant or Wasp?
Location: Singapore
October 12, 2016 1:28 pm
Hi,
I took this picture in Kitchen Garden, Pasir Ris Park of Singapore on a fine October morning. I can’t figure out whether this is an ant or a wasp. Help appreciated. Thanks!
Signature: Teng

Mammoth Wasp: Scolia species

Mammoth Wasp: Scolia species

Dear Teng,
Your image of a Mammoth Wasp (AKA Flower Wasp or Scarab Hunter) in the family Scoliidae is gorgeous.  It looks very similar to this FlickR image from Indonesia of
Scolia vollenhoveni, and we suspect it is either the same species or a closely related species in the same genus.  Of the North American species, BugGuide notes:  “Larvae are parasitoids of ground-dwelling scarab grubs, esp. Phyllophaga; adults take nectar.”   Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “7 spp. in our area, a great many more in the Old World (30 in Europe alone).”

Dear Daniel,
Thanks a million!
Regards,
Teng

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Subject:  Female Scarab Hunter Wasp
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 18, 2016 9:30 AM
Just as we were leaving the office today to gawk at the guerilla art Donald Trump sculpture at Wacko (see LA Times or LAist ), we had to make a slight delay to take some images of this gorgeous female Scarab Hunter Wasp,
Campsomeris tolteca, nectaring on the flowering peppermint.  We first identified this species four years ago in Elyria Canyon Park.  Alas, the statue was in for the night, so we will have to return to Wacko during business hours.   Our identification of the female Scarab Hunter Wasp can be verified on BugGuide.

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Walking in Florida Pine Woods
Location: Near US 1 and Old Kings Road
August 8, 2016 12:58 pm
Hi,
I took a photo of this insect on a trail in Flagler County Florida yesterday, Aug 7, late in the day. The location was pine uplands at Hewitt Sawmill historic site. It was longer than an inch, had purplish long wings, made no sound at that time, black long body but not thin, and it had two yellow spots on each side of its abdomen. Its face looks like a giant ant. It was walking slowly across the shell-sand trail. The closest I found online is the Eastern Sawfly, but the markings don’t exactly match up. Could you pinpoint its identity?
thanks!
Signature: Tom Hanson, Palm Coast FL

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Tom,
This is a Scarab Hunter Wasp, a name that applies to the entire genus
Campsomeris, and your individual is Campsomeris quadrimaculata with the species name of the binomial a reference to the four spots you observed.  You can verify our ID on BugGuide.  According to the genus page on BugGuide:  “According to Nick Fensler: The females Campsomeris as well as other members of the Campsomerinae use white grubs (Scarabaeidae) as food for their young. Unlike sphecids, eumenines, and pompilids these wasps do not appear to have any type of prey transportation and dig to the ground-dwelling beetle larvae, sting it to paralyze it, and then lay an egg. They may dig around the grub to form a small cell. Since they use this nesting strategy they are often seen flying low to the ground (searching) in a figure eight pattern (but the flight pattern gets more erratic when they ‘smell’ something). The adults use nectar as a food source and are common on flowers.”

Way cool!  Thank you.  I hope to see more of these out on my walks (and stay out of their way!), but if I’m with anyone I can now ID it thanks to whatsthatbug!  Best, Tom

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scoliid wasp?
Location: Salir, Algarve, Portugal
July 28, 2016 9:56 am
I spotted this huge specimen in my garden in the Algarve, Portugal. It was quite docile and tried to hide underneath my shower decking. It was about 5-6 cm in size and as you can see from the picture is black with four almost square yellow panels on the lower half. My Portuguese friends are saying it’s a bee killer, is this true? I’ve done some image searches and it looks like a Scoliid wasp, although I’m not sure those are native to Southern Europe. Thanks for your help.
Signature: Vincent

Mammoth Wasp

Mammoth Wasp

Dear Vincent,
You are correct that this is a Scoliid Wasp or Mammoth Wasp, most likely
Megascolia maculata AKA Scolia maculata based on this FlickR image.  It is also pictured on iNaturalist.  Your friends are wrong.  Scoliid Wasps do not prey upon bees.  Adults take pollen and nectar from flowers like most wasps, and the female hunts for Scarab Beetle larvae.  Project Noah indicates there are three subspecies and provides this information:  “The larger female (may reach 5.5-6 cm) can be told apart by her yellow head and short antennae. The male has a black head and longer antennae. Both have two yellow bands on their abdomens, which can be divided to form 4 spots as it is shown on the photos. Nevertheless, they hold no harm to humans despite their size, in contrast to common wasps and hornets. Indeed, mammoth wasps do have stings, but not for self-defence or nest protection (in fact, they are solitary wasps). You may see several of these wasps flying around decaying tree stumps, they have a purpose there. They’re searching for larvae of Rhinoceros beetle (lat. Oryctes nasicornis), The female wasp once she has discovered the huge larvae, will sting one to paralyze it and then lay her egg on the outer skin. After hatching, the larvae of the mammoth wasp starts eating its host, till reaches the size it could create a cocoon, where it can safely sleep through all winter. 6 months later, the larvae turns into pupa and after 1 month more, from under the underground emerges newly formed mammoth wasp. The adult once feed on flower nectar.” 

Thank you very much for clearing this up! I’m also happy to hear they feed on the rhinoceros beetle, those were responsible for killing the magnificent palm tree we had in our garden a few years back. I’ll definitely not harm these wasps when I see one in the future. Not that I would harm any creature, great or small 🙂
Vincent.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this bug ?
Location: valencia Spain
June 17, 2016 6:38 am
I found this morning on pepples in our garden …it is dead….it measures 5 cms.. its has a black body , prominent yellow markings on body and yellow head long brown wings and very hairy black legs… we live in Spain… any ideas??
Many thanks
Signature: Mandy

Mammoth Wasp

Mammoth Wasp

Dear Mandy,
This gorgeous creature is a Mammoth Wasp,
Scolia flavifrons, and in our opinion, they are much prettier alive than dead.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination