I have an odd insect-
This is probably something common, I’ve just never seen before. I think it’s a wingless wasp that has built a small- 4 cm diameter may .5 cm, at the most, height hive on my mimosa tree. (Since it’s built a hive, I am thinking it’s a wasp of some sort and not an ant. Are there ants that build hives? ) It has a bright red abdomen and yellow tipped antennae. It is social, there are about 40 of them working together on this. It appears the queen is on top of the hive but she doesn’t have the coloring that the others do. It is the size of an ant, and it’s legs are long-antennae are elbowed – it looks like a spider at first glance. Ever heard of anything of the sort?
Thanks,
Lisa McCaskill

Hi Lisa,
This sounds very interesting. I can’t think of what it could be. I wish you could send a photo. Thanks,
Daniel

(06/04/2005)
Thanks for answering. I found out that it’s hatching assassin bugs– here is a photo, the “hive” is actually eggs, and they only appear social because they’re hatching,
Lisa

6 Responses to Newly Hatched Wheel Bugs

  1. drswanny says:

    These are wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) nymphs.

  2. Jaimee says:

    We have wheel bugs that hatched today, January 10, 2015. Happy birthday wheel bugs! We live in Pittsburgh and want to know how to keep them alive until the spring. Please help.

    • bugman says:

      We just returned to California flying through Pittsburgh. It is very cold now and we are guessing you kept your Wheel Bug egg case indoors, hence the early hatching. These are predators and they may eat one another until it is warm enough to release them. You can also try small crickets from the pet store, though we suspect they may be too large for hatchling Wheel Bugs.

  3. Jaimee says:

    Unfortunately, Bugman, you were right. The nymphs ate each other and I am down to just one Wheel Bug. She ate the last two this week. I am sooo disappointed. We are in the dead of winter and I’ve been trying to find something for them to eat. I tried mealbugs but they were too big. Interestingly enough, they turned into beetles. I’ve been racking my brain trying to find out how to keep them alive and I read today to try wingless fruit flies. I went to Petco and got some. I think that this will work since they are so tiny. I just wish that I found out sooner.

    • bugman says:

      Wingless Fruit Flies sounds like a wonderful choice. We lament that we were not aware of them when you first wrote.

  4. Jaimee says:

    We designated our lone Wheel Bug a girl and she’s eating!!!!! So, happy. They are very interesting and I’m excited to see her continue to grow until we can release her in the spring.

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