Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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

Subject: Wasp or Bee
Location: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
April 30, 2017 6:57 pm
I found this insect resting with 4 others in the early morning on Salvia coccinea. I have tried to id it from books and internet, the closest seems to be Scarab Hunter, however I do not believe this is large enough at about 1-1.25 inches.
I photograph insects and id them to post on my Instagram @thedailybug with common and scientific names.
Thank you for your help. Your page is a great assistance.
Signature: Laurel Robertson

Scarab Hunter: Scolia nobilitata

Dear Laurel,
This is indeed a Scarab Hunter Wasp, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
Scolia nobilitata based on this and other BugGuide images.  According to BugGuide, it is a “Small scoliid with dark wings, abdomen dark with 4-6 light yellow/orange spots” and that is consistent with your observations.  The University of Florida has a nice paper on Scoliid Wasps of Florida and they provide this description:  “Variation: Body length is 10 to 15 mm. Segment 1 rarely with faint yellow spots, and those on segments 2 and 3 are sometimes very faint. Segments 4 through 7 may be dark mahogany to black.”  According to BugGuide data, sightings in Florida begin in May, so your individual was a bit early this year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an ichneumon wasp?
Location: Austin, TX
April 30, 2017 8:49 am
What is this bug? Finding them inside the house this spring trying to get out…hanging around the windows…do they sting/bite? Any house structure damage concerns?
Signature: Stephen

Grass Carrying Wasp

Dear Stephen,
Based on BugGuide images, we are pretty confident that this is a Grass Carrying Wasp,
Isodontia mexicana.  According to BugGuide:  “Taken from the Internet Reference below (Penn State): The adult wasps emerge from their cocoons in early summer, mate, and the females locate a suitable nest site. She collects blades of grass and grass and hay stems to line the nest cavity. The wasp can be seen flying through the air with the blades trailing beneath her. She lands at the hole and enters, pulling the blade in behind her. After the nest is prepared, she hunts for tree crickets (i.e., Oecanthus sp.), captures and paralyses them with her sting, and transports them to the nest. She deposits eggs in the nest and the emerging larvae will feed on the living, but immobile crickets. When the larvae reach the appropriate size (in 4–6 days at 70–75° F.), they spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult wasps emerge in 2–3 weeks. In Pennsylvania, Isodontia mexicana typically produce two generations per year.  Remarks These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  We have many more images in our archives of the nests of Grass Carrying Wasps because they are so frequently found in window tracks.  Solitary wasps are generally not aggressive, and rarely sting humans, though that possibility does exist.  Since they are harmless, and since it appears one individual in the images you attached might be dead from unnatural causes, we are tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage.  Because Grass Carrying Wasps are emerging from nests formed in window tracks now that spring has arrived, and because we suspect other homemakers might be experiencing similar sightings, we are tagging this posting as the Bug of the Month for May 2017.

Grass Carrying Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination