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

Subject:  Striped Wasp-like bug & a fly/bee type bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Black Mtn Fire Lookout, SW Wyoming, USA
Date: 07/13/2019
Time: 01:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please identify this wasp and fly-type bug. Hanging out at my Fire lookout.
How you want your letter signed:  Roger Lockwood

Wood Wasp

Dear Roger,
We will take your identification requests one at a time to give each insect its just due.  The wasp is a type of Horntail in the genus
Uroceros, most likely Urocerus flavicornis which is pictured on BugGuide.  We tried to determine the preferred host trees for this Wood Wasp, but we had to zoom out to the subfamily level on BugGuide to learn they feed “on conifers.”  We wanted more details to complete this posting, so we continued to research.  According to the US Forest Service, where the BugGuide provided taxonomic name is actually a subspecies Urocerus gigas flavicornis, they feed on “Fir, larch, spruce, pine, and Douglas-fir.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  CH43 9AJ
Date: 07/13/2019
Time: 03:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this? Is it a bee?
How you want your letter signed:  ??

Honeysuckle Sawfly

Dear ??,
We had no idea where CH43 9AJ is located, but a web search produced:  “
CH43 9AJ. Postal code in Birkenhead, England.”  This is a Sawfly, a non-stinging relative of Bees and Wasps.  Based on an image on NatureSpot, we are quite confident it is Zaraea fasciata, and the site states:  “Uncommon with most British records coming from England and Wales.”  According to UK Wildlife, it is commonly called the Honeysuckle Sawfly.

Honeysuckle Sawfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  mystery hoverfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt St Helens, Washington, USA
Date: 07/11/2019
Time: 08:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Seen June 30, 2019. It’s with body was slightly over an inch (2.5-3 cm) long. Seen at Coldwater Lake, Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument. A friend thought it might be a species of Tachinid Fly. I would be interested to know if anyone recognizes it.
How you want your letter signed:  Linda Severson

Sawfly: Trichiosoma triangulum

Dear Linda,
This is not a Hover Fly nor any other True Fly.  Flies have a single pair of wings and your insect has two pairs of wings.  The clubbed antennae characterizes it as a Sawfly, a non-stinging relative of stinging Bees and Wasps.  We believe we have identified it as
Trichiosoma triangulum thanks to images on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of alders (Alnus), ash (Fraxinus), poplars (Populus), willows (Salix), cherries (Prunus).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasps?
Geographic location of the bug:  Nest uncovered during window replacement
Date: 07/10/2019
Time: 09:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have read many accounts that wasps paralyze and lay eggs in these “victims”?
How you want your letter signed:  Sue

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest with Crickets

Dear Sue,
We wish you had a higher resolution image.  We have never seen an image of such a fully stocked Grass Carrying Wasp nest.  Female Grass Carrying Wasps provision the nest with Crickets, especially Tree Crickets.  We had no idea each larva would eat so many Crickets.  We were under the impression that one cell was used per egg.  We will need to research this matter more.  Your understanding of the behavior of solitary female Wasps and their care for the young is correct.  Paralyzing the prey allows the victim to remain alive and fresh as opposed to old and dried out, so if the eggs hatch in several months, there will be fresh food provided for the long dead mother Wasp.  Social Wasps like Hornets have no need to paralyze prey as there are worker Wasps assigned to child care so the queen can just procreate.  Where are you located? 

Close-Up of Grass Carrying Wasp Nest with Crickets

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hornet/ wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Pearland TX
Date: 07/06/2019
Time: 04:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This hornet attacked a locust and was dragging it around in the grass in the backyard just yesterday July 5 2019
How you want your letter signed:  KMB

Cicada Killer with Cicada prey

Dear KMB,
This Wasp is a Cicada Killer and its prey is a Cicada, not a Locust which is actually a Grasshopper.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive.  The female Cicada Killer stings and paralyzes a Cicada and then drags it to her burrow to serve as food for her brood.

Cicada Killer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp lands on me WITH caterpillar meal
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri, United States
Date: 06/29/2019
Time: 12:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  so today one of the most cool, weird, and gross things happened to me. I was sitting outside with my bearded dragon and we were under a nice tree. I feel a plop on my arm and I look down to see what it is and my hand is already poised to gently brush off whatever bug has wandered onto me, but I see the black and yellow and my brain registers: THAT is a wasp.
I pulled out my camera as fast as I could because… this is absolutely wild, I’ve never had this happen. and I sit there as I watch this wasp crunch her caterpillar prey WHILE SITTING ON MY ARM… when I moved my arm she got spooked and flew away, leaving her dead caterpillar laying on me… which I brushed off onto the sidewalk.
I have included the caterpillar itself as well, which I’m curious to know the name of, if possible.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

European Paper Wasp with Caterpillar prey alights on tattooed arm.

Dear Michael,
We applaud your quick reflex “inaction” to the aposomatic or warning coloration on this European Paper Wasp,
Polistes dominula, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to the Penn State Department of Entomology: “Before 1981, the European paper wasp was not recorded in North America. In its native region, P. dominulais the most abundant paper wasp in those countries around the Mediterranean. It is also found in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and eastward into China.  A highly successful colonizer, this wasp has rapidly increased its distribution in the United States during the past 20 years. Before the introduction of this new species, the northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, was the most frequently encountered species in and around structures in Pennsylvania.”  That site also observes:  “Whenever new species are introduced into an environment (either intentionally or accidentally), there are unpredictable consequences. The increased risk for stings is an obvious concern. Even more troubling, it appears that this new introduction has had an adverse impact on the native species of Polistes. The apparent reduction of indigenous Polistes will undoubtedly result in a change in the faunal balance. It is unclear what the consequences will be. Some entomologists worry that the large numbers of P. dominula will adversely affect the species of desirable insects (i.e., butterflies).”  For that reason, we are tagging your submission as Invasive Exotics as well as Food Chain.  This is also the most frequently encountered Paper Wasp in our our Mount Washington, Los Angeles garden.  We believe this caterpillar is a member of the Owlet Moth family Noctuidae, which includes Cutworms.

Probably Owlet Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination