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

Subject: what kind of wasp is this?
Location: Kingston,NH
July 27, 2015 11:06 am
I live in NH and saw this bee and thought it looked strange. I’m not sure if they are native to this area but i have been seeing them the past two years. Please, help me identify this bug.
Thank you.
Signature: Wendy

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Dear Wendy,
The Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus, is native throughout North America and if you have had a sudden increase in populations, we suspect it has something to do with food supplies.  Adult Great Golden Digger Wasps are pollinators, and in our own garden, they are very fond of the flowers of onions, but we have also seen them visit the blossoms of carrots, so we suspect they are also attracted to other plants with umbel blooms.  The female digs a nest that she provisions with paralyzed Katydids, Crickets and other longhorned Orthopterans which provide food for the larvae.  Years when Katydids are especially plentiful will likely result in more Great Golden Digger Wasps.

Ann Levitsky, Sue Dougherty, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scary flying wasp ant??
Location: Arizona
July 23, 2015 10:51 pm
I woke up this morning and went downstairs to find this frightening critter crawling on the ceiling. My husband tried to kill it but lost it somewhere downstairs so we were forced to give up so we could go to work. Later that night it was captured and after much deliberation we decided to let it go outside. Did we make the right decision? What is this bug? Is it harmful or helpful?
Signature: Jenna

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Dear Jenna,
When it comes to insects, “harmful or helpful” are kind of relative terms, but we would have to say that the Black and Yellow Mud Dauber in your image is helpful.  This solitary wasp is not aggressive, and the female constructs a nest of mud and provisions it with paralyzed spiders to feed her brood.  Fans of Spiders might not like wasps that feed on spiders, but the food chain with predators and prey is necessary for the web of life on our planet.  Because of your thoughtful actions, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Kristina Larson, Heather Duggan-Christensen, Kristine Lachapelle, Tip Crawford, Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large wasp-like insect. Social.
Location: Cherokee County, Iowa
July 18, 2015 7:10 am
Hello. Last week on Thursday, I noticed a large, wasp-like insect flying around a storm drain at the place where I work. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention, but they were in an area of high traffic, and they seemed to “multiply” as the day went along. I first noticed just the one insect flying in and out of the drain Then there were two, and by the end of Thursday, there were four coming and going. Friday’s end brought with it six insects flying in and out.
Every time a truck would park near the storm drain, all of the insects would “swarm” the truck. No one was stung, however, the freight drivers did complain about the bugs. We were forced to eradicate the nest. Inside the drain was a softball-sized nest completely constructed of mud. I witnessed one of the wasps carrying a katydid, and a co-worker of mine noticed the same thing.
I live in northwest Iowa. I have included a picture of the wasp. I was unable to get a good picture of the nest as it was inside the storm drain. Thanks for your help
Signature: Sean

Great Black Wasp Carnage

Great Black Wasp Carnage

Dear Sean,
This is a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, and most of the information you have provided seems consistent with the recorded behavior of the species except the social behavior you stated.  Great Black Wasps are solitary wasps, not a social species, though we concede that if conditions for nesting are ideal, multiple females may nest in the same vicinity.  Great Black Wasps do prey upon Katydids to provide food for the brood.  In an effort to educate our readership, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty, Mary Sheridan Page Fatzinger liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue Bug?
Location: Philadelphia, PA
July 1, 2015 11:10 am
Location: just outside of Philadelphia, PA
Date: 6/29/15 Summer
Time: 9:15 am
I have a gift for finding strange bugs. Two different Sphynx Moths, odd grasshoppers, albino spiders and such. This is my first blue bug. :-)
Signature: Andrea

Blue Mud Wasp

Blue Mud Wasp

Dear Andrea,
This is a Blue Mud Dauber or Blue Mud Wasp,
Chalybion californicum.  According to BugGuide:  “A large, active, blue-black wasp with irridescent blue wings. Frequents flowers for nectar and buildings for nest sites.”

Ann Levitsky, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that wasp?
Location: Seattle. Can be more specific if need be.
April 25, 2015 2:37 pm
Picture taken in Seattle at a park. Wasp is apparently eating the other bug. The profile and colors don’t match I’ve found, but it does resemble an ichneumon somewhat. Your idea as to species?
Signature: Roger

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber with Prey

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber with Prey

Dear Roger,
This is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, and you can verify our identification on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults nectar at flowers; mud nests are built in all kinds of sheltered locations, incl. man-made structures, rock ledges, etc. Adults collect mud for nests at puddle/pool edges.  Food nests are provisioned with spiders.”  Your individual is not feeding, but rather capturing prey with which to provision its nest, so they prey is likely a Spider.

Amy Gosch, Laura A. Lehner liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bodacious, Beautiful Wasp
Location: Brevard County (Titusville), FL
September 17, 2014 7:01 pm
Hello Big Folks,
We found this big, bodacious, beautiful wasp today (Sept. 17, 2014) while doing landscape work for a client. It’s big, nearly 2″ long and was very docile and tolerant as I hovered around it, mere inches away, taking photos and videos as it walked around on an Indian hawthorn shrub.
Can you tell me what it is? And everything there is to know about it? (<–ok, I realize that may be an unreasonable request, but this guy is awesome!)
Thanks so much, and also, thanks for this wonderful site. There is so much fascinating stuff here!
Signature: LG

Unknown Wasp

Unknown Wasp

Dear LG,
We had thought this would be an easy identification, but we are not having any luck, so we decided to enlist the assistance of Eric Eaton.  Initially we thought that this might be a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, but we struck out, though
Eremnophila aureonotata on BugGuide does have similar markings on the face.  In the interest of trying to post additional submissions this morning, we are going live with your request, waiting for Eric Eaton to get back to us, and hopefully provide you with an identification soon.  Perhaps some of our readers will have ideas.

Eric Eaton confirms family and gets more specific.
Daniel:
You are correct, this is a katydid hunter wasp, Sphex habenus.  It is not one of the more commonly-photographed species.
Species Sphex habenus – BugGuide.Net
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination