Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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

Subject: Flower Wasp ID?
Location: Blyth, SA
December 25, 2015 8:13 pm
Can you a specific ID for this wasp. Just turned up 130km north of Adelaide – about 8 of them. Dec 2015. Thanks for your help. Lovely little creature & seems oblivious to us – was burrowng in sand & bark litter.
Signature: Ian Roberts

Blue Flower Wasp

Flower Wasp

Hi Ian,
This is definitely a Flower Wasp or Mammoth Wasp in the family Scoliidae.  It looks very similar to this individual we believe we correctly identified as a Blue Flower Wasp,
Scolia (Discolia) verticalis.  There is a similarly marked individual on Bold Systems, and this FlickR posting from Western Australia looks like your individual, but it is only identified to the genus level.  Bower Bird has a Flower Wasp identified as Laeviscolia frontalis that has the two spots evident on the abdomen of your individual, and an image on Ipernity supports that ID, but another image on Bower Bird does not appear to have the yellow color near the head.  So, we cannot be certain of the species, but we are confident with the family Scoliidae.

Hi Daniel
Thanks for that – nice to have them zipping around.
Regards
Ian Roberts

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful blue/black wasp
Location: Jamaica
November 29, 2015 9:58 pm
This looks like a Blue Flower Wasp (Scolia soror) which is native to Australia but I’m not sure because I saw it in Jamaica. It also looks similar to Blue Mud Wasp (Chalybion californicum) and Blue Mud Dauber (Chlorion aerarium) and even Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus). It doesn’t appear to have a narrow waist from the photos I took. It is so beautiful – I want to post it on our website and would love to know the correct name before posting.
Thank you for your assistance!
Signature: Jean C

Flower Wasp

Flower Wasp

Dear Jean,
We agree with your initial impulse that this is a Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae, and the Blue Flower Wasp that you cited is a member of a genus also found in the New World.  BugGuide lists five species in North America, and notes that there are seven species reported from North America.  The species on BugGuide that looks the most like your individual is 
Scolia mexicana, which is only listed from Arizona, but if its range extends into Mexico and Central America, it might actually be your species.  Alas, the best we are able to do is speculate that it is a Scolia species.

Flower Wasp

Flower Wasp

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your reply!  I really appreciate it.  I thought getting an answer was a long shot but figured it was worth a try. I feel more confident now that I at least know the species.
Jean

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Digger Wasp? Dangerous?
Location: Orange, Essex County, NJ
August 25, 2015 10:38 am
Here are a few pix of this multi-colored wasp-like/-looking thing in my front garden. This is a pic of the first one. I saw one or two others. It seems to really like the ripe raspberries… far more than it likes the tomato flowers.
I am lethally allergic to bee stings and wasp stings. Is this thing dangerous to me? I stop breathing, if untreated, in 12 seconds after being stung… and again about 15 minutes after injection with my first dpi-pen. This one didn’t exhibit any interest, or even fear, at my getting close enough to take the pix with my iPhone.
Thanks.
Signature: Stephanie

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Stephanie,
Thanks so much for taking the time to take your comment and submit a query with images, and though your image quality is quite poor, the distinctive coloration of the Blue Winged Wasp or Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, makes is identity quickly identifiable.  The gap in time between your comment and your query has allowed us to contemplate the matter a bit and we can’t help but to wax philosophically on the topic.

You ask:  “Is this thing dangerous to me?” so we turned to BugEric who writes:  “Males cannot sting, and females are loathe to sting unless physically molested.”  Not resisting the temptation to pick up or eat this Digger Wasp might provoke a sting from 50% of their population.  We cannot imagine you attempting either of those two possibilities.  We suspect your condition might be making you overly cautious, but again, we concur that there is always a possibility of being stung.  How great is that possibility?  We feel it is quite minimal.  According to the University of Florida Extension paper by E.E. Grissell:  “Male scoliids are frequently seen cruising close to the ground in irregular figure eight patterns (Krombein, personal communication).  A dozen or so may be skimming the soil’s surface, but not be noticed until the eye becomes accostomed to their presence.  According to Iwata (1976) a female will land and dig into the soil using first her mandibles and then her fore- and midlegs.”  Recognizing the behavior of the sexes may help you to become more aware of the difference between the physical impossibility of being stung verses a minimal chance that you might be stung.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Hardyville Kentucky
August 19, 2015 6:43 pm
These have been gathering in my backyard in the mornings. Seems that they are after the dew on the grass. I first thought they were dirt dobbers but I saw a few just chilling on my fence this afternoon and this is the picture. Thanks
Signature: Cheryl

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Cheryl,
We are pleased to see your image of a living Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and to read your positive attitude about it because these docile, solitary wasps are frequently targeted for Unnecessary Carnage like the dead Digger Wasp we posted a few days back.  The female Digger Wasp lays her eggs on subterranean beetle grubs including the invasive Japanese Beetle, so Digger Wasps are a gardener’s friend.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp
Location: Pennsylvania
August 19, 2015 1:51 pm
We have these wasp in our yard think they have a nest underground how do we know for sure and get rid of it
Signature: Sharon

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Sharon,
This is a solitary Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and it is not an aggressive species.  They develop underground, but they are not social wasps with hundreds of members of a colony.  According to BugGuide:  “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”  Any insect that preys on the invasive Japanese Beetle is a friend to the gardener.  We do not provide extermination advice.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination