Subject: Bee or wasp?
Geographic location of the bug: Andalusia, Spain
Time: 12:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
Are these bees or wasps? where feeding on bottle brush. They where not small, much bigger than paper wasp, but they looked much more wasp like than a bee.
Malaga province, Spain, October 22, 2018
Thanks in advance
How you want your letter signed: Perry
This is definitely a Wasp and not a Bee. It looks to us like one of the Paper Wasps in the genus Polistes, but we have not found any images from Spain on the internet that resemble your individual. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to substantiate or provide a correction.
Correction: December 29, 2018
Thanks to comments from several of our readers, though the species is still not identified, we now know that this is one of the Hornets or Yellowjackets in the subfamily Vespinae.
Update Regarding Permission to use images: February 28, 2019
Dear Mr Marlos,
You are most welcome Leopoldo. The submitted letter indicates the images were taken in “Malaga province, Spain, October 22, 2018.”
Dear Mr Marlos
My little investigation has born fruit, and here’s the “happy ending”.
On Friday I spent some time surfing the ‘net, with unexpectedly good results: first I found out what the photographer’s full name was, then I got hold of his email and finally I was able to contact him. He has kindly provided the exact locality (Mijas), as well as some other relevant details. This part of the puzzle is now complete, and I can move on to the next phase, thanks to your help and his.
Congratulations on your diligence Leopoldo. I began What’s That Bug? in 1998 as a column in a zine called American Homebody that eventually became a website when the zine editor, and a collaborative artist on other projects I did, decided she wanted to learn web design, so What’s That Bug? became an online column on a website. When Lisa Anne suggested I purchase the domain name in 2002 because my column generated more mail than the rest of the website combined. I have been answering inquiries for 17 years, and I no entomological credentials, nor any science background. I am an artist, so it gives me great satisfaction each time I am contacted because of the important sightings documented in our extensive database. I’m so happy I was able to facilitate your research.
Dear Mr Marlos,
After a very short editorial process, I’ve had the paper on Vespa bicolor published by an entomological journal, and you can find it attached. As you’ll see, your valuable help is duly acknowledged at the end of the article (sorry that it’s in Spanish… the paper’s mostly aimed at Spain’s scientific community) (but’s it’s got a lot of international hits in the seven days it’s been available on the ‘net).
2019 Castro =V. bicolor[CAS19A]
Hi again Leopoldo,
Congratulations on your quick completion of your paper.