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

Subject:  Wasp indoors in winter
Geographic location of the bug:  Grayslake, Northern Illinois
Date: 01/04/2019
Time: 01:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My young cats found this wasp buzzing in the window today. Temps are a bit warmer than normal in the low 40’s, but I thought wasps died off in the winter and never expected to see one in January. Can you help me identify and figure out why (s)he’s in my house? I’m not one to kill things but I don’t want the cats to eat it or get stung either.
Thank you for all of your work!
How you want your letter signed:  Karin

Yellowjacket Queen

Dear Karin,
We believe this is a queen Yellowjacket, probably the Eastern Yellowjacket,
Vespula maculifrons, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Each spring, a female queen begins a new nest that grows over the summer and autumn, but the nest dies over the winter and reproductive female Yellowjacket queens hibernate, beginning new nests in the spring.  We suspect you encountered a hibernating queen.  Since few insects are sighted in northern climes during winter months, we have decided to make this posting our Bug of the Month for January 2019.

Yellowjacket Queen

Yellowjacket Queen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cocoon
Geographic location of the bug:  Inside a shed hanging from ceiling
Date: 01/02/2019
Time: 02:42 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. Just wondering what insect(?) Emerged from this?
How you want your letter signed:  Yvonne

Hornet Nest

Dear Yvonne,
We can’t help but to wonder if your ceiling is in Sydney, Australia or Schenectady, New York, or perhaps some other place on the planet.  This appears to be the early stages of a Bald Faced Hornet nest, so depending upon your location, this might be the nest of a related species  If summer just began in the Southern Hemisphere for you, this nest is probably being constructed.  If you are in the grips of a northeastern North American winter, this nest was probably long abandoned.

Thanks.
I live in Tasmania, Australia. It is the size of a tennis ball. I havent touched it to determine if its occupied. Its in a barren shed used as a change room at a local country pool. (So only used in summer). It is suspended from a ceiling joist. There was no activity for the 10 minutes we were in the shed. This was in the daytime
Cheers yvonne
Another suggestion was a polyphamus moth??
Just cant find an exact replica on google images.

Thanks for the clarification Yvonne.  This is not a moth cocoon.

Thanks Daniel. Will keep an eye on it. See what develops. Yvonne

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Colourful ant!
Geographic location of the bug:  Jindivick, Australia
Date: 12/05/2018
Time: 08:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have found a few very colourful ants in my vegetable garden recently, and was wondering if you knew the species, it is approximately 1.3 cm long, has some red features across its body and is covered in a metalic green/blue shell, its abdomen sometimes charges like a scorpion tail, but has no visable stinger – please note that the ants in these photos have not been harmed, and the one in the glass has been promptly released after photographs were taken, as it was within my house
How you want your letter signed:  Ben, not into ants – but into this one

Blue Ant

Dear Ben,
Though it is commonly called a Blue Ant,
Diamma bicolor, this beautiful creature is actually a flightless, female Flower Wasp.  According to Oz Animals:  “Blue Ants are not ants at all but the wingless females of a species of Flower Wasp. The female is has a glossy blue green body with reddish legs. They move across the ground with a rapid restless motion with abdomen raised above the ground. The winged male and is slender and much smaller with more typical wasp appearance. Males have black with white spots on the abdomen. The female wasps paralyse mole crickets as food for their larvae. The female wasp can give a painful sting if disturbed, but they are not commonly encountered by people.”

Blue Ant

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Oak Gall
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 11/25/2018
Time: 4:30 PM EDT
While we are waiting to clear up our technical difficulties receiving images, Daniel is spending some extra time in the yard.  He noticed this Oak Gall several days ago.  It is growing on a California Live Oak tree Daniel started from an acorn in 2000 that is now over 20 feet high and it has begun producing acorns.  We have always been intrigued that Alfred Kinsey began his career as an entomologist who studied Cynipid Gall Wasps, and that he collected well over a million specimens, and that he transferred that obsession to the data collecting methods that eventually produced the Kinsey studies on human sexuality.

Oak Gall

 

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