Subject: I’m having trouble identifying what I believe is a species of wasp.
Location: Bayside area, Melbourne Australia.
February 2, 2017 6:13 pm
G’day BUGMAN!!
I’ve got another conundrum for you when you get some spare time.
I saw this bug at Mum’s the other day, he was just chilling out on a blade of grass so I took some pictures. He’s a little bit cute, but also looks a bit waspish. From the pages I’ve looked up to identify Australian wasp species I’m having trouble finding an accurate identity for him. The closest I’ve come across is a Potter Wasp, but from pictures they aren’t similar enough.
As you can see my little wasp friend has an all black face & eyes & no tiny stick waist. Potter wasps appear to have a much thinner, or longer thin section of their abdomen. Also they have more orange on their face & antenne than my little friend.
Would you know of any sites in Australia that allowing uploading of pictures to ask about bug identification like you do?
Your website is so much fun to browse around.
Thank you again for your time.
Have a wonderful day!
Signature: Kindest regards, manda.

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Hello again Manda,
Since the internet is global, whyever would you want to locate an Australian counterpart to our site?  That said, we know of no Australian counterpart to our site, though we do have a sister site in Brazil called Insetologia.  Our editorial staff (as if we don’t have enough to do) has toyed with the idea of applying for grant funding to venture into Australia.  We tend to field many more questions from Australia and South Africa from December through February when much of the northern hemisphere is in the depths of winter, which is the main reason we created a WTB Down Under? tag many years ago, and with 880 unique posts (with yours being 881), it is our most popular tag, followed distantly by Bug Love.  Though its coloration resembles that of a Potter Wasp, its antennae are quite distinctive.  Your non-stinging Hymenopteran is a Bottlebrush Sawfly,
Pterygophorus cinctus, and according to Jungle Dragon:  “Sawfly is the common name for insects belonging to suborder Symphyta of the order Hymenoptera. Sawflies do not possess the distinctive thin waist of the other hymenopterans, nor do they possess a sting. Their name comes from the female’s saw-like egg-laying tube, which she uses to make a slit in a plant leaf or stem, into which she lays her eggs. The adult Bottlebrush Sawfly has an orange and black banded body, with a wingspan of about 2cm. Males have feathery (pectinate) antennae.”  The lack of feathery antennae indicates your individual is a female.

Bottlebrush Sawfly

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Location: Bayside, Melbourne, Australia

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