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

Subject:  Looks like large bee or wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Windsor. Nsw. Australia
Date: 09/13/2019
Time: 03:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. Just saw this huge bee or wasp. Never seen this bug before. Should i report it?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks Kim

Hairy Flower Wasp

Dear Kim,
We recognized your Wasp as a member of the family Scoliidae, and we quickly identified it as a Hairy Flower Wasp thanks to images on Backyard Buddies where it states:  “Hairy Flower Wasps are great for your garden. After mating, the female digs into the soil and finds a grub or beetle. She paralyses it temporarily and lays her egg in it. As the larva grows, it uses the host as food. Because of this, Hairy Flower Wasps and their larvae will help your garden by keeping your grub and beetle numbers down.”  According to Esperance Fauna:  “They are solitary insects without a nest, as the female lays a single egg on a paralysed and insensitised (stung) scarab beetle larvae, leaving it to hatch and consume the host. Because these wasps have no nest to protect and fortunately for people are not aggressive and will only sting if physically interfered with.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bright Orange Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Goshen, New Hampshire
Date: 08/23/2019
Time: 09:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I’ve been trying to figure out what this little guy might be, but I haven’t found anything. It’s bright orange with a single black stripe down the back. The head is white and has many small white dots down the body. I know you don’t respond to all submissions, so thank you if you read mine.
How you want your letter signed:  Haley

Elm Sawfly Larva

Hi Haley,
While this might look like a Caterpillar, it is actually an Elm Sawfly larva. According to the University of Wisconsin Madison Master Gardener Program site, the “Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, is a native species which feeds preferentially on elm and willow, but sometimes attacks maple, cottonwood, poplar, birch and other trees. This is one of the largest species of sawfly in North America with full-grown larvae ranging from 1½-2 inches long. The white, light gray, yellow or light green (and occasionally pink) larvae with a rough, pebbly texture have a black stripe running down the top of the body with a row of black dots (spiracles) on each side. They often curl up into a circle when not feeding on the leaves.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is there a special name for this unusual wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Manchester, UK
Date: 08/22/2019
Time: 03:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
A friend of mine saw this wasp a few days ago and thought it was unusual, so he decided to take a picture. He has red feet and a bit of a long nose (the wasp, not my friend). I think he just looks like a normal wasp, but my friend wonders if there’s a special name for him.
Is he special? Or just a run-of-the-mill wasp?
How you want your letter signed:  The person who asked you about a boxelder bug 15 years ago

Yellowjacket

Dear person,
This looks to us to be a Yellowjacket.  According to CountryFile:  ”  What is the most common wasp species found in the UK?  The wasp in question is the yellowjacket (
Vespula vulgaris), the black and stripy species you often find yourself swatting away. The reputation of this and a few other species has tarred that of another 200,000.”  Social wasps like the Yellowjacket sting much more readily than do solitary wasps.  If we identified a Boxelder Bug for you 15 years ago, you have a very long history with our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Scoliid wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 12:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi I have 100’s of these flying Ober my grass in nj
I’m afraid for by dogs but I understand they don’t sting
How do I get rid of them?
How you want your letter signed:  Bob NJ

Blue Winged Wasp

Our automated response:  Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

Thank you
I think they’re scoliosis
1st thought they were Secada hawks

Dear Bob,
This is a Blue Winged Wasp, Scolia dubia.  Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine in humans.  You are correct that Scoliid Wasps are not aggressive and we strongly doubt they will sting you or your dogs.  Because the Blue Winged Wasps are so plentiful, there must be a large number of Scarab grubs in your lawn.  Many homeowners spend money to have their lawns treated with pesticides to eliminate the Scarab grubs.  You have a natural remedy.  We would choose the Blue Winged Wasps over pesticides.  We do not offer extermination advice.  We don’t want to even inquire about the circumstances leading to the death of this Blue Winged Wasp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this some type of very large wasp or hornet? Please help!
Geographic location of the bug:  St. Paul, Minnesota
Date: 08/13/2019
Time: 03:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!
This very large wasp/hornet-looking insect was on a tree in my front yard. It was at least 2 inches long, with a very thick/large stinger. The striping was almost an orange on it’s abdomen. Very curious what this is!
Thank you in advance
How you want your letter signed:  Sure

Pigeon Horntail

I think I just figured out what it is!
I believe it’s a Pigeon Horntail female. Apparently they lay eggs to feed on dying trees (which the tree it was on has died…).

Hi Matt,
You are correct.  This is an ovipositing Pigeon Horntail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Pennsylvani
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 05:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just want identification of these caterpillars.
How you want your letter signed:  Angelo V

Dogwood Sawfly Larvae

Dear Angelo,
This was a quick identification for us because we encountered an image of Dogwood Sawfly larvae while trying to identify this Introduced Pine Sawfly larva, an identification that took us considerable time. Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of Wasps and Bees that have larvae that are frequently mistaken for caterpillars.  According to BugGuide:  “Young larvae are covered with a powdery white waxy coating. Mature larvae are yellow beneath with black spots or cross-stripes above.”  It is great that your image depicts both waxy coated individuals and those without the coating.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination