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

Subject:  What is this flying bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Sacramento California
Date: 11/05/2018
Time: 10:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was buzzing at me fairly large dont know what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Weirdbug

Ichneumon, we believe

Dear Weirdbug,
This sure looks like an Ichneumon to us, or some other parasitoid wasp, but we have not had any luck with a definitive identity.  We wish there was more detail in your image.  Ichneumons are parasitoid Wasps that are considered important biological control agents for caterpillars and other insects.  According to BugGuide:  “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.”   The wing veination on your individual appears very similar to the drawing on Le Monde des Insectes.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Flying insect – Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Richmond VA
Date: 11/01/2018
Time: 02:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I keep finding these flying insects in my house.  I am concerned if they are dangerous as my cats like to chase them around the house.  I am not sure where they are coming from but would like to know more about them.
How you want your letter signed:  Martin

Northern Paper Wasp

Dear Martin,
This is a Northern Paper Wasp,
Polistes fuscatus, and it is an especially dark individual, much like this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Hypervariable in color and pattern” and “Nests in woodlands and savannas. It is fairly common around human habitations, especially where exposed wood is present and can be used for nest material.”  BugGuide also indicates:  “Lifespan is approximately one year, or the time it takes a queen to develop and to mate. Larvae from eggs that are laid during the summer are well fed because of abundant food, and are capable of becoming queens. These eggs hatch before fall and the resulting offspring hibernate during fall and winter. The new queens emerge in the spring to begin nests and lay eggs.”  That causes us to speculate that perhaps the individuals you are finding are queens that are seeking shelter indoors to hibernate due to the approaching cold weather.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bee or wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Andalusia, Spain
Date: 10/22/2018
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

Unknown Wasp

Dear 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.

Unknown Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  A bee like bug I can’t identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Washington state
Date: 10/16/2018
Time: 07:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am a 5th grade science teacher who has her students collect and identify bugs as part of our insect unit.  This is the second time in three years this insect has shown up and I have not been able to figure out what it is with any of the North American guides we use. (Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, and others specifically dealing with the Pacific Northwest).  The bug pictured is about 1 inch long with a wingspan of 2 inches.  I hope you can help me identify it.  Not knowing is driving me crazy!
How you want your letter signed:  Rebecca Swier, Ebenezer Christian School

Elm Sawfly

Dear Rebecca,
Perhaps if this individual had a head, identification might have been easier for you.  This is an Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, and here is a BugGuide image for reference.  Sawflies are non-stinging members of the order Hymenoptera, a group that includes wasps and bees.  They have larvae that look like caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Island NY
Date: 10/14/2018
Time: 08:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This black thing fell from above my head onto my leg while I was sitting at the train station. It slid down off my leg & got caught wiggling around between my sock and sneaker! I thought it was a black cockroach!! Anyway, I injured it trying to get it out of my shoe. Now out it actually looks like some sort of a Bee?? I have never seen one this color! What do you think it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious

Blue Winged Wasp

Dear Curious,
This is a Blue Winged Wasp, Scolia dubia, one of the Scarab Hunter Wasps.  According to BugGuide:  “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of
Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black wasp with orange wings
Geographic location of the bug:  In Genesee id
Date: 10/13/2018
Time: 09:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey, so I have never seen one of these before… Google said it is a tarantula wasp??? Just curious what it is…
How you want your letter signed:  Shara cook

Spider Wasp

Dear Shara,
Tarantula Hawks are Spider Wasps in the genera
Pepsis and Hemipepsis that prey on Tarantulas, and according to BugGuide data, the latter genus is not found as far north as Idaho, and similarly, BugGuide data on the genus Pepsis also shows a more southern range.  Other Spider Wasps have similar coloration.  Your individual might be Calopompilus pyrrhomelas which is pictured on BugGuide and reported from Idaho based on BugGuide data.

Are they dangerous, or like a normal sting or bite?   I picked it up with a leaf , and put it in the sun.   It was cold on my porch.

Spider Wasps are not aggressive towards humans, and Tarantula Hawks are reported to have very painful stings.  Since your individual is also a member of the tribe Pepsini that includes Tarantula Hawks, it might also have a painful sting.  Again, Spider Wasps are not aggressive, but they can sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination