Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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Subject: Black wasp with yellow head
Location: Naracoorte SA
December 26, 2014 7:41 pm
Hi Mr Bugman, if love your help please! I’ve just been bitten or stung (several times it would appear!) by this wasp.
As is to be expected, it’s incredibly painful! I’m currently lying on the couch with ice applied – what a wonderful excuse to watch the cricket!!
I’m in Naracoorte SA and Im not at all familiar with this type of wasp however my mum tells me she has seen them about.
Can you please identify the wasp so that I may call my new nemesis by name!
By the way, it took half a dozen attempts to kill, his body must be extremely hard!
Many thanks in advance
Belle Baker
Signature: ??

Mammoth Wasp, we believe

Mammoth Wasp, we believe

Dear Belle,
Though we were not able to locate any matching images on iSpot or elsewhere on the internet, we believe that this is a Mammoth Wasp in the family Scoliidae based on its resemblance to this European species of Mammoth Wasp.  It is curious that we were not able to find any South African documentation on such a distinctive looking, large wasp.

Ed. Note:  Correction South Australia, not South Africa
Thank you, that’s really interesting. Naracoorte is in South Australia, not South Africa…
Warmest Regards, Belle

Thanks for alerting us to the South Australia location.  That makes a big difference.  We believe we have correctly identified your Mammoth Wasp as a Blue Flower Wasp, Discolia verticalis, thanks to the BushCraftOz website where it states:  “Large solitary wasps. Very hairy with dark blue body and yellow patch behind head. Adults have shiny dark blue wings and stoutly built. Nectar feeders, especially eucalyptus blossum. Females have spiny legs for digging in wood or soil searching for beetle larvae and other insects to parasite. Size – up to 59 mm. There are 25 species of flower wasps that belong to Scoliidae.  Note: Flower wasps will sting if disturbed. Multiple stings can cause systemic reaction.
Warning – if symptons indicate systemic reaction seek urgent medical advice.”  There is a distribution map on the Atlas of Living Australia

Update:  January 1, 2015
Subject: Blue Flower Wasp
January 1, 2015 2:57 pm
Thanks to your site we have decided on  the Blue Flower Wasp as the identity of a swarm (probably 10+ )of wasps buzzing around a Blue Gum for the last 2 mornings. They disappear through the day. They have never been seen to land and make a very low pitched buzz as they fly close to you.  In 25 years we have never seen them before.  They are not aggressive, even when (with some difficulty – they are fast!) we netted one for a close look.  We are in Beetaloo Valley, Southern Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Signature: John Birrell

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Subject: Identification Needed!
Location: Georgia
December 1, 2014 7:56 pm
Hi! I am trying to identify numerous insects for an entomology course. My project is due in two days so I am desperate to identify these insects. Every insect I have came from the middle Georgia area and were found between August-November. Please identify as many as you can! I know the picture quality is not the best so even a guess will work! I will submit 3 photos per insect for you to see multiple views. I will be very grateful for your help!
Signature: Thank you so much!

Double Banded Scoliid

Double Banded Scoliid

We do not plan to call off work today to respond to your desperate plea to identify all the insects in the fifteen emails you sent last night.  We suggest that you use BugGuide and our own archives to do your own identifications based on the wealth of knowledge we are presuming you were taught in your course.  The most popular posting on our site continues to be What’s That Bug? Will Not Do Your Child’s Homework.  You need to pass (or fail) on your own.

Ed. Note:  This is a Double Banded Scoliid, Scolia bicincta, which can be verified on BugGuide.

Sue Dougherty, Jessica M. Schemm, Kristi E. Lambert, Joani Tompkins, Tracy Photogirl Shaw liked this post
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Subject: wasp?
Location: ohio
August 31, 2014 5:42 am
Do wasps collect nectar?
Signature: kelley

Blue Winged Wasp

Blue Winged Wasp

Dear Kelley,
This is a Blue Winged Wasp or Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and like many wasps, adults feed on nectar.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey.  Larvae are parasites of green June beetles and Japanese beetles.”  Most young wasps are carnivorous, but they cannot hunt for food, so adult female Social Wasps hunt for prey and return to the nest with it to feed the young, or in the case of solitary wasps, they will sting and paralyze food to provide fresh meals when the eggs hatch and the larvae begin to feed.

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Subject: Wasp-like Insect
Location: Central Alabama
August 20, 2014 12:45 pm
Hello. Recently have seen several of these around, esp. near my flowering mint plants. Not sure what they are. I suspect they might sting, but are very docile in nature.
Signature: Wayne

Double Banded Scoliid

Double Banded Scoliid

Dear Wayne,
This beautiful Scarab Hunter or Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae is commonly called a Double Banded Scoliid,
Scolia bicincta.  As you indicated, they are docile wasps that are solitary in nature.  While we acknowledge that they might sting if the are threatened or carelessly handled, there is very little chance of a sting if they are not bothered.  Scarab Hunter wasps are beneficial insects that help to control the populations of Scarab Beetles.

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Subject: Megascolia maculata, mammoth wasp in Ontario?
August 15, 2014 5:18 pm
Hello,
Is there a subspecies of Megascolia maculata, not cicada killer, known to live in Eastern Ontario? Will send photos later if need be.
Signature: Noah

There are European Hornets.

Hi there,
I am trying to identify the species in the photo I’ve attached. It looks closest to photos of European/Eurasian mammoth wasps that I’ve seen.
Noah Cole

Double Banded Scoliid

Double Banded Scoliid

Dear Noah,
This Scarab Hunter Wasp is a Double Banded Scoliid,
Scolia bicincta.  According to BugGuide:  “No doubt a parasitoid of beetle larvae, as are other members of this genus.”

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Subject: Bee on Steroids?
Location: Los Angeles, CA
June 27, 2014 3:10 pm
I saw this bee-hemouth on a flower outside my home here in the Los Angeles area.
It was around 1.5 inches long.
Looks like a bee, but isn’t a bee. Any ideas?
Signature: Just Me

Female Scarab Hunter Wasp

Female Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Just Me,
Several years ago we encountered this magnificent species of Scarab Hunter Wasp in Elyria Canyon Park in Northeast Los Angeles and we identified it as a female
Campsomeris tolteca.  The species exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism.  Both males and females visit flowers, but only the female hunts for Scarab Beetle Grubs to feed her brood.  BugGuide states:  “According to Nick Fensler: The females Campsomeris as well as other members of the subfamily Campsomerinae are predators on white grubs (Scarabaeidae), using these larvae 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.”.  You may also compare your images to these images on BugGuide.

Female Scarab Hunter Wasp

Female Scarab Hunter Wasp

Wow very cool! I think it looks more like the plumipes. Thanks so much!

According to BugGuide, Campsomeris plumipes is not found west of Colorado.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination