Subject: Identification of Insect Request
Geographic location of the bug: Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean
Time: 05:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Please help me identify this scary looking creature. I saw it outside my home a couple weeks ago when the rainy season became more intense. I live on the hilly part of North Trinidad, which is an island in the Caribbean. The bug was probably one and a half inches long and 1 inch wide. I left it alone and it disappeared after a while. The area is a little bushy with a few fruit trees around. Thanks for your help.
How you want your letter signed: Aisha Baptiste
This is a harmless male Carpenter Bee. Male Carpenter Bees are incapable of stinging. Only the females, which are generally larger and often exhibit sexual dimorphism, are capable of stinging. While males of many species of Carpenter Bees are often gold in color, the females are generally larger and often black in color, appearing to be a different species.
Thanks so much for your prompt response! I do appreciate all of this information.
Sorry to bother you again, but after reading the Barbados account, I just realised that we also refer to the female Carpenter bee as a black bumble bee in Trinidad (and I was stung by one as a child). This was a real eye opener. Thanks again!
Hi again Aisha,
Female Carpenter Bees are not aggressive, though they are capable of stinging. We are cheered to learn our response was helpful and eye opening.
I agree they aren’t aggressive. I was about 5 or 6 years old and it actually landed on me when I was walking home from school. I began to yell and scream and another child told me to hit it with my lunch kit and that’s when I got stung on my belly.
Swatting an unknown insect that lands on one is a good way to get bitten or stung. Creatures will defend themselves. Though at five or six, you might not have realized this, but it is a far better method to blow an unknown creature off of one’s body, if possible.