Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"

Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Suffolk, VA 23432
September 13, 2014 6:11 pm
Can you tell me what this insect is?it looks lake a large black and red ant.
Signature: Thank you! John Lee

Cowkiller

Cow Killer

Dear John Lee,
Though this Cow Killer,
Dasymutilla occidentalis, is in the family with members commonly called Velvet Ants, they are actually flightless female wasps that are reported to have a very painful sting.

Subject: Unknown Pollinator for Orange Coneflower
Location: North Carolina, United States (near Chapel Hill)
September 14, 2014 8:36 am
Hello, I have recently been studying bugs and have been unable to identify the little bugger you see below. The bug itself seems to hang around the orange coneflower (rudbeckia fulgida) quite a bit and always lands on the outer extensions of the head of the flower before heading to the center portion. Thanks!
Signature: Connor McFadden

Possibly Square Headed Wasp

Possibly Square Headed Wasp

Dear Connor,
Your image is not sharp enough to be certain, but we believe this might be a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and it looks similar to this image posted to bugGuide.

Subject: Cow Killer and the Close Call
Location: Washington-on-the-Brazos; Washington County, Texas
September 7, 2014 9:54 pm
Long story involving 1) hordes of hungry mosquitoes (who ignore or perhaps even enjoy the taste of Deep Woods Off), and 2) an epic storm front composed of towering purple cloud banks, lightning, and buckets of rain, caused our planned day at the beach in Galveston, Texas to evolve into a walking tour of historic Washington-on-the-Brazos in central Texas.
So, I’m walking in the grass near the Brazos River instead of on the crushed-granite path at the park because I’m wearing flip-flops intended for sandy-beach-walking and don’t want to get rock shards in my shoes. I look down just in time to see my bare toes dangerously close to this very fast-moving red and black velvety creature. Thanks to you and your informative website, I know that this is probably a cow killer, a velvet “ant” that’s really a female wasp with an agonizing sting!! I did a quick “jump back, Jack”, in time to save myself from a terrible sting.
Yeah. I opted to walk on the crushed rock pathways after that, keeping my eyes peeled for stinging insects.
Interesting day.
Thank you for the informative web site. You may have saved me from an agonizing sting, because I guarantee that I wouldn’t have known what this insect was without you.
Most of the photos that I took (from the relative safety of the pathway) are blurry because the insect was so fast in moving over, under, and around the leaves and grass.
Signature: Ellen

Cowkiller

Cowkiller

Dear Ellen,
Since you didn’t have a question, our response is short.  Thanks for sending us the account of your encounter with this Cowkiller.

Subject: Mud Dauber with Araneus – Square Peg in a Round Hole!
Location: Thousand Hills State Park – Kirksville, MO
September 4, 2014 1:10 pm
Hi, Bugman!
I saw this rather interesting sight at work today. Apparently we have a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber nesting inside the hollows of our steel office door, and she has been getting in through a tiny gap above the door handle. I had seen a mud dauber hanging around the area, but didn’t realize there was one nesting there until I saw her on top of the door lever. At first I thought that she might be injured, but on closer inspection, she was trying to squeeze through the gap with a particularly rotund spider she had caught! I managed to snap some photos of the mud dauber doing some very amusing gymnastics, struggling to get the spider through the gap, before she left. Sadly, when she did give up and fly away, she did not drop the spider, which would have been helpful for identification! The most I can narrow down the spider is to the genus Araneus – which I realize, given the huge number of species under that umbrella, is like seeing an A-10 Warthog and identifying i t as ‘an aircraft of some kind.’ I was hoping you might have more luck in finding out what kind of spider our mud dauber had flown in, but, if not, then I simply hope you get a chuckle out of the photos.
Thanks!
Signature: EB

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Dear EB,
We absolutely love your images of a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber attempting to return to its nest with this substantial Orbweaver.

Subject: Large wood boring bug with oviduct
Location: Syracuse in
September 1, 2014 12:19 pm
We found this large black an yellow striped winged bug with oviduct …any thoughts
Signature: Mary b

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

Hi Mary,
This is a Pigeon Horntail, a species of Wood Wasp.  The egg laying organ is an ovipositor.

Subject: Can you name this bug?
Location: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Google maps: 19.522574, -96.927901
August 30, 2014 5:09 pm
Hello, I found this bug. It has at least one week living at the same leaf. Here is the raining season. It does not move even when is raining. However it’s alive because when I was taking some photographs it moved a bit. Could you help me to identify this bug?
Signature: J. A. K.

Cochineal, possibly

Parasitized Slug Caterpillar

Dear J.A.K.,
This appears to be a Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, and it has fallen victim to parasitic wasps, most likely in the family Braconidae.  This image from BugGuide depicts a Slug Caterpillar infested with Braconids.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your help. It’s a shame I can’t help this small caterpillar, c’est la vie!.
This “bug world” is amazing, I hope I can learn more.
Cheers,
J Ko.