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
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