Currently viewing the category: "Thread Waisted Wasps"
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

Subject: Mud Dauber with Araneus – Square Peg in a Round Hole!
Location: Thousand Hills State Park – Kirksville, MO
September 4, 2014 1:10 pm
Hi, Bugman!
I saw this rather interesting sight at work today. Apparently we have a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber nesting inside the hollows of our steel office door, and she has been getting in through a tiny gap above the door handle. I had seen a mud dauber hanging around the area, but didn’t realize there was one nesting there until I saw her on top of the door lever. At first I thought that she might be injured, but on closer inspection, she was trying to squeeze through the gap with a particularly rotund spider she had caught! I managed to snap some photos of the mud dauber doing some very amusing gymnastics, struggling to get the spider through the gap, before she left. Sadly, when she did give up and fly away, she did not drop the spider, which would have been helpful for identification! The most I can narrow down the spider is to the genus Araneus – which I realize, given the huge number of species under that umbrella, is like seeing an A-10 Warthog and identifying i t as ‘an aircraft of some kind.’ I was hoping you might have more luck in finding out what kind of spider our mud dauber had flown in, but, if not, then I simply hope you get a chuckle out of the photos.
Thanks!
Signature: EB

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Dear EB,
We absolutely love your images of a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber attempting to return to its nest with this substantial Orbweaver.

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