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

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Subject: Wasp or hornet or ?
Location: Chiang Mai (northern Thailand).
May 4, 2014 12:26 am
Hi, this big flying insect comes into my house the last 2 days. It is not aggressive and about 5 cm long.
I made the pictures through a glass bowl.
Signature: Ricci

Mammoth Wasp:  Megascolia azurea

Mammoth Wasp: Megascolia azurea

Dear Ricci,
This is a magnificent wasp, and we were immediately struck by its resemblance to the European Mammoth Wasp, which is represented in our archives and identified as either
Megascolia maculata or Scolia flavifrons.  We may need to go back through our archives and make some corrections.  So, with that as a point of departure, we believe we have identified your individual as Megascolia azurea  on the HK Wildlife Forum and we found an example identified as a Digger Wasp from Hong Kong in our own archives.  This image from TheBugRoom indicates that only the female of the species has the red head, an example of sexual dimorphism.

Megascolia azurea

Female Megascolia azurea

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: black bug with blue wings
Location: Australia
March 18, 2014 6:59 pm
Hi,
I’ve found this wasp-like bug in my back yard. Through searching Google, the great black wasp seems to resemble the most, but I can’t find information of it living in Melbourne, Australia.
Signature: Ellie B

Blue Flower Wasp

Blue Flower Wasp

Dear Ellie B,
This impressive wasp is a Blue Flower Wasp,
Discolia soror, and as part of a 2010 posting, we wrote:  “the common name is listed as either the Blue Flower Wasp, Black Flower Wasp or Hairy Flower Wasp depending upon the author.  The adult feeds upon nectar, and the female lays eggs on Scarab Beetle Grubs which are parasitized by the larval wasps” but without citations.  This morning we will hunt for some citations.  Csiro calls this a Black Flower Wasp, and provides this information:  “The adult females are large and powerful wasps and are designed to dig.  They burrow into the soil to locate scarab grubs (from beetles such as the Christmas beetle), which they sting and lay an egg on.”  Csiro also indicates:  “Female black flower wasps can sting but rarely do, as they are not aggressive. It is not necessary to control them.”   The Brisbane Insect website calls this a Blue Hairy Flower Wasp and states:  “We sometime see them flying and walking among shrubs searching for prey. They lay eggs on scarab beetle grubs in the soil.”  Project Noah uses the name Blue Flower Wasp and The Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales uses the name Blue-Winged Scolia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination