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

Subject: What kind of bee/wasp is it and how dangerous is it?
Location: Encinitas, CA
August 11, 2014 10:10 am
I found this guy while working out in California in Encinitas. It flew by me and landed on this section of the wall. I tried not to get too close to it as it looks rather ferocious.
Signature: Oogzy

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Dear Oogzy,
This beautiful wasp is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, a solitary species that builds mud nests provisioned with paralyzed spiders to feed the larval wasps.  According to BugGuide:  “Nests may comprise up to 25 cylindrical cells, with typically 6-15 (up to 40) prey spiders per cell. The female may provide the cells with a temporary closure (a thin mud curtain) to keep out parasites while she is collecting prey. Once the cell is stocked, she lays an egg on one of the last prey and seals the cell with a thick mud plug. She may then add more mud to cover the entire cluster of cells.”  You can compare your image to this better focused image on BugGuide.  Mud Daubers are not aggressive wasps, though they may sting if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this huge flying bug?
Location: Southern Maine
August 3, 2014 7:45 am
They have infested our backyard, burrowing in the dirt around our pool. What are they and how can we kill them/get rid of them?
Signature: CH

Great Black Wasp

Great Black Wasp

Dear CH,
This looks like a Great Black Wasp, a non-aggressive, beneficial species that preys upon Katydids and digs underground burrows to use as a nursery.  Other than providing a food source of paralyzed Katydids, the female Great Black Wasp does not defend her nest.  We do not provide extermination advice.  The Great Black Wasp is a much more attractive creature living than dead.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Brilliant blue insect
Location: San Diego, CA 92129
July 19, 2014 3:50 pm
My six year old daughter showed me a brilliant blue insect carcass in our San Diego backyard (Rancho Penasquitos area) that I was unable to identify. At first, I was thinking it was a type of cuckoo wasp, but I’ve been unable to find any photograph that matches its appearance. The insect was about an inch long. If you can help identify it, I’d be grateful.
Thanks,
Signature: M. Yasuda

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter

Dear M. Yasuda,
Our suspicions that this was a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter,
Chlorion aerarium, started to dissipate when we realized that none of the examples posted to BugGuide had coloring this intense.  The closest is this Bugguide image of a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter from Los Angeles.  Then we located this excellent match on Project Noah.

Excellent!  Daniel, thanks so much for your quick and informed response.
Mark

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: double winged, orange hornet?
Location: Massachusettes, USA
July 19, 2014 12:42 pm
Never seen this thing before. It has an orange body and legs. A yellow head with black eyes, antenae and half of the abdomen as well. The other half is orange. It has two sets of wings and burrows under ground. This one is exactly 25 mm long (one inch). Help identify!!
Signature: Devin

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Dear Devin,
This magnificent wasp is a Great Golden Digger Wasp,
Sphex ichneumoneus, and we can only presume that it is dead because of Unnecessary Carnage.  Great Golden Digger Wasps are solitary wasps and they are not aggressive towards humans.  As your email indicates, the female excavates a burrow and she provisions it with Katydids, Crickets and other Orthopterans to feed her brood.  This is a beneficial species and it should not be harmed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: UFB- unidentified flying bug
Location: South Salem, New York
July 8, 2014 6:23 am
Hi!
We found strange bugs digging gravelly holes in-between the stone tiles on our porch. We’ve looked it up several times, but we’ve found nothing useful. Does it sting? Can anybody confirm what type of insect this is?
Signature: The Greenbergs

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Hi Greenbergs,
This is a Great Golden Digger Wasp, a docile, solitary wasp that spends its time visiting flowers for food and females hunt Katydids which they drag back to underground burrows to feed the young.  Only female wasps have stingers, and solitary wasps like the Great Golden Digger Wasp rarely sting humans, though a sting might result through careless handling.  Unlike social wasps like Hornets and Yellowjackets that will sting to protect the nest, the Great Golden Digger Wasp does not sting to protect the nest.  The sting is used to paralyze Katydids so the hatchling wasp larvae will have a source of fresh food.  We hope we have convinced you that the Great Golden Digger Wasps do not present a threat to you, your family or your pets, and that you will allow them to continue to nest on your porch.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect ID
Location: South Florida-West Palm Beach
March 16, 2014 3:17 pm
Could you please ID this blue flying insect.
Signature: DJS

Great Black Wasp

Blue Mud Dauber

Dear DJS,
This looks like a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, to us.  We are going to check with Eric Eaton who profiled the Great Black Wasp on his Bug Eric blog to see if he can verify or correct its identity.  According to Eric:  “Few North American wasps are as conspicuous as the Great Black Wasp, Sphex pensylvanicus. This all-black insect with violet reflections on its wings is so large as to sometimes be mistaken for a tarantula hawk wasp. Males average 22 millimeters in body length, while females are about 28 millimeters (up to 35 mm) and more robust.”

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Daniel:
That is either a Blue Mud Dauber, Chalybion californicum, or a Steel Blue Cricket Killer, Chlorion aerarium.  Hard to tell the two apart from only a couple images from the same angle.  I lean toward Blue Mud Dauber, though.
Eric

Great Black Wasp

Blue Mud Dauber

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination