Subject: night fliers!
Location: Central Chile, Coastal Mountains (Matorral, rural)
January 24, 2014 6:15 am
I have been perusing your site for years trying to identify this creature that enjoys flying into my eyes at night. I rarely see them during the day but as soon as the sun goes down, they begin appearing on my walls and on the outsides of my windows (so I don’t think they live inside, I think they just come inside at some point during the day). When I go to bed and read, they are attracted to the light and fly into my face, causing me to nickname them “jerks.” They do not sting or bite, just annoy. They are only around during the summer– after the first frost they disappear and I rejoice!
Finally I have an internet connection fast enough to send a picture and I found one in the kitchen this morning (I left the light on in there last night in hopes of attracting them there instead of into my bedroom). This guy is about 1cm in length but I have seen various sizes from just a couple of mm up to about 1.5 cm. As much as I hate them, I can’t bring myself to kill things, so this guy was rehomed to the outside. But I’d love to know what they are so I can figure out how to … well, incentivize visiting some other area at night!
This nocturnal Hymenopteran is some species of Wasp. We will post your image, attempt an identification and enlist the assistance of our readership. Congratulations on your internet upgrade.
Thanks!! I thought it might be a non-stinging wasp but I’m not exactly a pro at this so I wasn’t sure. I had never seen a non-stinging wasp before. It’s astounding the number of curious things you find floating around in the night!
Hi again Stefanie,
Male wasps do not sting. Please see Eric Eaton’s response.
Eric Eaton Responds
I’m on my way out the door, but….It is a male wasp, something related to velvet ants; but the taxonomy of all those related families is so complex, based on such minute characters, that I’m not sure anybody could tell you anything more from images alone. One really needs to put the specimen under a microscope.