need help identifying Bug and Bee
Location: Island of Curaçao in the Caribbean
August 19, 2011 7:08 pm
Hi, I am Garrick Marchena, from the island of Curaçao in the Caribbean and I need help identifying these two insects.
I know one of them is a bee, but i need to know what type of bee. Its certainly a type I’ve never seen or heard of before.
The other is an insect known to our island as one that brings luck. It is called ”Mamoendenge” by our local people, but i need to know the official name. It kinda looks like a Mud Dobber wasp but i don’t think it is. Its back part bobs up and down as it walks.
I really appreciate if you can help, but if you can’t maybe you might know someone who does?
thanks you very much,
Garrick Marchena.
Signature: Garrick

Carpenter Bee: Xylocopa muscaria

Hi Garrick,
Though we don’t recognize your bee, and we have been unable to locate a match online, we suspect it is some species of Carpenter Bee.  The other insect which you call Mameondenge we find very interesting because of the notion that it brings bad luck.  This is a beneficial Ensign Wasp, so named because of the bobbing of its abdomen which is thought to resemble a flag.  The Ensign Wasp parasitizes the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches, helping to reduce their population.  We wonder if the name the locals have given it is a reference to dengue fever which is spread by mosquitoes.  You might want to educate the locals as to the importance the Ensign Wasp plays in Cockroach control.

Ensign Wasp

Thanks for the fast response!!!
Locals say that the Esign Wasp (or Mamonedenge) brings GOOD luck actually! Sorri i wasn’t clear on that.
Now that i know this information I’m gonna love this bug even more!
From what I’ve searched on the internet the bee does look like a carpenters bee. Also seems to be a type of solitary type bee.
This is really awesome!
Let me know if you are going to use the pictures because i would like to add a copyright on them first if you don’t mind.
Thank you very much for your help.

Sorry Garrick,
We somehow inserted the word “bad” before luck in your letter.  The images are already posted live and we have cropped them, lightened them and formatted them to our site.  Your name is printed with your original email.

Correction courtesy of John Ascher
April 22, 2012
Xylocopa (Schonnherria) muscaria (Fabricius, 1775) female:

Location: Curacao

2 Responses to Ensign Wasp and Carpenter Bee on Curacao

  1. I forgot our local name for the Ensign wasp and was searching for it and after 7 years I bumped back into this page.
    I even forgot about this. A very nice surprise!
    You can forget my request for making the pictures copyright. I am more than happy to have helped your website with these pictures. Keep doing what you do, this site is awesome!

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