A few months ago by using your website I was able to identify a mysterious bug I had never seen before sitting on my basil planter outside as a nymph wheel bug. Well, here we are a month or so later without having seen the wheel bug and we walk outside and find the now “adult” wheel bug sitting out on our deck right before we watched it get attacked and killed by a (European hornet?). Please identify the bug attacking the wheel bug in the attached picture. Thanks for your help!!!
Dear B & D,
Your identification of a European Hornet, Vespa crabro, attacking a Wheel Bug is correct. According to BugGuide, the European Hornet is : “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young. … The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.”