Subject: Black wasp with yellow head
Location: Naracoorte SA
December 26, 2014 7:41 pm
Hi Mr Bugman, if love your help please! I’ve just been bitten or stung (several times it would appear!) by this wasp.
As is to be expected, it’s incredibly painful! I’m currently lying on the couch with ice applied – what a wonderful excuse to watch the cricket!!
I’m in Naracoorte SA and Im not at all familiar with this type of wasp however my mum tells me she has seen them about.
Can you please identify the wasp so that I may call my new nemesis by name!
By the way, it took half a dozen attempts to kill, his body must be extremely hard!
Many thanks in advance
Belle Baker
Signature: ??

Mammoth Wasp, we believe

Mammoth Wasp, we believe

Dear Belle,
Though we were not able to locate any matching images on iSpot or elsewhere on the internet, we believe that this is a Mammoth Wasp in the family Scoliidae based on its resemblance to this European species of Mammoth Wasp.  It is curious that we were not able to find any South African documentation on such a distinctive looking, large wasp.

Ed. Note:  Correction South Australia, not South Africa
Thank you, that’s really interesting. Naracoorte is in South Australia, not South Africa…
Warmest Regards, Belle

Thanks for alerting us to the South Australia location.  That makes a big difference.  We believe we have correctly identified your Mammoth Wasp as a Blue Flower Wasp, Discolia verticalis, thanks to the BushCraftOz website where it states:  “Large solitary wasps. Very hairy with dark blue body and yellow patch behind head. Adults have shiny dark blue wings and stoutly built. Nectar feeders, especially eucalyptus blossum. Females have spiny legs for digging in wood or soil searching for beetle larvae and other insects to parasite. Size – up to 59 mm. There are 25 species of flower wasps that belong to Scoliidae.  Note: Flower wasps will sting if disturbed. Multiple stings can cause systemic reaction.
Warning – if symptons indicate systemic reaction seek urgent medical advice.”  There is a distribution map on the Atlas of Living Australia

Update:  January 1, 2015
Subject: Blue Flower Wasp
January 1, 2015 2:57 pm
Thanks to your site we have decided on  the Blue Flower Wasp as the identity of a swarm (probably 10+ )of wasps buzzing around a Blue Gum for the last 2 mornings. They disappear through the day. They have never been seen to land and make a very low pitched buzz as they fly close to you.  In 25 years we have never seen them before.  They are not aggressive, even when (with some difficulty – they are fast!) we netted one for a close look.  We are in Beetaloo Valley, Southern Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Signature: John Birrell

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Location: Naracoorte, South Australia

6 Responses to Blue Flower Wasp from South Australia

  1. LK says:

    I think that SA in this case refers to South Australia, which would fit well as around this time these kinds of ‘flower wasps’ (in Scoliidae) are fairly common in southeastern Australia.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for bringing that geographical error to our attention. We also heard back from Belle who clarified the location and we have correctly identified the Blue Flower Wasp.

  2. Ian says:

    I have just seen one of these Blue Flower wasps in my garden this morning. First I have ever encountered in 25 yrs around here. Approximately 30mm in length and foraging in around the river pebbles. I managed to snap 3 photos before it moved on. It matches the description this page provided, except this one also has a yellow spot on either side of the abdomen. Can send photos if requested.

  3. Adrian w says:

    I just found one in my garden. I live at Modbury North, South Australia. Cought it.

  4. Wigzy says:

    I have been looking everywhere to identify this wasp like insect….after my lawn has suffered a black beetle infestation I have now treated the lawn and seen a few of these wasps emerging….have yellow band on head and two yellow spots on left and right side of lower abdomen.
    I live at Seacliff in South Australia and found in early Feb (late summer)

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