Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pretty metallic blue insect
Location: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland
May 27, 2017 3:56 pm
Saw this beautiful critter land on a leaf at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s eastern shore. Thought at first I had a six-spotted tiger beetle, but the color and the wings seem wrong for that. What do I have here?
Signature: Rob Nease

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter

Dear Rob,
This beauty is a Thread-Waist Wasp in the family Sphecidae that is commonly called a Blue Mud Wasp or Blue Mud Dauber,
Chalybion californicum.  According to BugGuide:  “Females construct mud nests in sheltered areas, often under the eaves of buildings, and provision them with spiders. Sometimes refurbishes the nests of other mud-daubers, such as Sceliphron.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: crane fly or ichneumon wasp or something else entirely?
Location: Dover, PA
May 27, 2017 5:25 am
Hi – a friend of mine asked me what this is. He said it was ‘bigger than a normal wasp’. Thank you !!!
Signature: Sue

Stump Stabber

Dear Sue,
This is indeed a Giant Ichneumon, probably
Megarhyssa macrurus, and Giant Ichneumons are frequently called Stump Stabbers because the female uses her very long ovipositor to lay eggs in dead and dying wood that is infested with wood boring larvae of the Pigeon Horntail, a species upon which the Stump Stabbers prey.

Thank you so much !
Sue

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Landed next to me
Location: Yakima, Washington
May 26, 2017 10:35 am
Hey, this guy landed next to me here at Yakima Training Center and was wondering if you could ID it for me. Closest thing i could find was a grasshopper hunter wasp, but it doesnt look right. Thanks a bunch!
Signature: Chance Golden

Horntail

Dear Chance,
We are relatively certain that this is a Horntail in the family Siricidae which is pictured on BugGuide, but we are not sure about the species.  What appears to be a stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female, and she uses that organ to lay her eggs.  Eggs are laid beneath the surface of the bark of trees, and the larvae are wood boring insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Not a mud dauber?
Location: Tybee Island, Ga
May 23, 2017 4:23 am
This nest appeared in our windowsill a few weeks ago with 3 insects now there are more though the best has not grown much. My husband thinks it is a mud dauber but I don’t agree as the nest is not made of mud, we have a lot of mud dauber that do nest on the house. Any ideas of how we should handle it?
Signature: Tybee resident

Nesting Paper Wasps

Dear Tybee resident,
You are correct that this is not a Mud Dauber Nest.  Mud Daubers are solitary wasps and a single female constructs the nest.  This is a Paper Wasp nest and the wasps are in the genus
Polistes, but we cannot make out the species based on your image.  Though they are not considered aggressive, Paper Wasps might sting in they perceive their nest to be threatened.   

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee or Fly?
Location: Swansboro, NC
May 21, 2017 3:56 pm
Is it a bee or a fly? I thought maybe a hoverfly? I’m at a loss. My friend took the picture in her yard.
Signature: Miss Sheila

Horse Guard Wasp, we believe

Dear Miss Sheila,
This critter has four wings, so it is definitely NOT a fly.  We believe it is a Sand Wasp as the abdominal markings remind us a bit of a Cicada Killer.  The closest match we could find is a Horse Guard Wasp,
Stictia carolina, but as you can see by comparing your image to this BugGuide image, that is not exact.  We will contact Eric Eaton for assistance.  Based on this BugGuide image, we now believe the Horse Guard Wasp might be correct, but the abdominal markings seem to vary.  Eric Eaton is quoted on BugGuide as stating:  “a really big sand wasp (just behind the cicada killer). They get their name by hanging out around equines and pouncing on tabanids which they paralyze and stuff into their burrows for their offspring.”  Also according to BugGuide:  “‘The horse-guard (Monedula carolina Drury), a predaceous wasp, is among the more important checks on the horsefly. These wasps lay their eggs in burrows and watch over them until they hatch. As soon as larvae appear, the wasps supply them with food, which consists of horsefly adults. The wasp frequents pastures where they pick the flies off the molested horses and cattle and carry them to their nests.’ — Bernard Segal, Synopsis of the Tabanidæ of New York, Their Biology and Taxonomy: I. The Genus Chrysops Meigen, Journal of the New York Entomological Society 44(1):51-78 (1936).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a wasp of some kind
Location: Frontierland Clearwater, KS
May 13, 2017 9:52 pm
Hey, Bugman, our Boy Scout Troop was at Frontierland camp in Clearwater, KS today and we saw this bug and no one knew what it was. We’re hoping you can tell us. Thank you so much!!
Signature: KarenLuce

Stump Stabber

Dear Karen,
Members of the Giant Ichneumon genus
Megarhyssa are frequently called Stump Stabbers because the female uses her incredibly long ovipositor to lay her eggs in the wood boring larvae of Pigeon Horntails.  Your individual is Megarhyssa macrurus, but we believe the scouts are more likely to remember that they saw a Stump Stabber.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination