Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"

Subject:  Identify this wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Greensboro,NC
Date: 08/27/2021
Time: 09:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was hiking a trail at battleground park with my fiance in Greensboro and we came across this wasp dragging a spider twice it size on the trailer were walking. Would you let us know what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Jrp

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider Prey

Dear Jrp,
This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and though your image lacks the necessary detail for a definite identification, we believe your individual is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus.  This species preys upon Wolf Spiders, not to eat, but to feed to her brood.

Subject:  Pygodasis ephippium wagneriana
Geographic location of the bug:  Ecuador
Date: 08/22/2021
Time: 10:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  It’s dead so I can take tons of pics for more research.
How you want your letter signed:  Paola Davalos

Scoliid Wasp

Dear Paola,
This is definitely a wasp in the family Scoliidae, sometimes called Digger Wasps.  Scoliid Wasps prey on the grubs of Scarab Beetles.  This might be
Pygodasis ephippium, The Giant Scoliid Wasp, which is pictured on Project Noah where it states:  “A truly monstrous wasp measuring 4 cm in length! This is a Scollid wasp, often called Digger Wasps. They have a characteristically corrugated pattern on the tips of the wings (2nd picture). These are parasitic on Scarab larvae under ground, tunneling down to the larva to lay her egg on its body. Some will make a side chamber to store the larva while her own offspring grows. Because of her size, she must parasitize one of the larger scarab species. She also has enormous mandibles (1st & 5th pictures) for handling the larva underground. This species has two large orange-red bands on the abdomen and is otherwise entirely black. This is the 4th individual I have seen over the past 30 years. These have been reported from the southern US, Mexico, Central America and northern South America “

Scoliid Wasp

HI Daniel,
Thanks for your respose.
I took the wasp to the University biology center. They will research it since they are finding a decrease on the population than usual and they want to understand the cause of this higher mortality here in Ecuador.
Ill keep you posted since they will research the cause of the death in this particular wasp I found.

Hi again Paola,
We would love to hear any updates you get from the University biology center.  You may post comments directly to the online posting

Subject:  What this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Nottingham England
Date: 08/15/2021
Time: 08:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there, would you identify this little beast for me please?
How you want your letter signed:  A Draycott

Sawfly: Cimbex connatus

Dear A Draycott,
This is a Sawfly and we identified it as
Cimbex connatus on NatureSpot where it states:  “A very large (3 cm body length) sawfly, vaguely resembling a hornet but fatter bodied”  and “The larvae feed on various alder species. When fully grown, they are about 50 mm long and have a dark dorsal stripe all the way along the body. They generally feed between July and September, but may still be found as late as October.”

Sawfly: Cimbex connatus


Subject:  This lives my desert milkweed
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix AZ urban environment
Date: 08/14/2021
Time: 10:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell us what this beautiful insect is. It has beautiful iridescence on its thorax and abdomen that do not show as clearly in the photo. It is approximately 2.5 inches long with long graceful legs and long wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you! Deborah

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Deborah,
First we want to compliment you on your wonderful image that is so rich in anatomical details, including the two spines visible on the hind leg joint.  This is a Tarantula Hawk and many Tarantula Hawks have bright orange wings and iridescent bodies, aposomatic or warning colors that this wasp can sting and the sting is reported to be quite painful.  At first we suspected it was a Mexican Tarantula Hawk because of the black wings, but the large size you indicate has us thinking this is the melanic form of
Pepsis grossa based on this BugGuide information:  “Very large, with two color forms: Orange-winged (xanthic) and black-winged (melanic). The two color forms are not often seen in the same locality. Melanic forms are easily confused with Pepsis mexicana, but that species is always much smaller in size than P. grossa.”  When Tarantula Hawks fly, their long legs dangle behind them.  Though they are not aggressive, the sting is reported to be extremely painful.  True to their name, female Tarantula Hawks prey upon Tarantulas which they paralyze with their sting.  The living but helpless Tarantula is then buried and the Tarantula Hawk lays an egg.  When the egg hatches, the larva will eat the Tarantula alive.  This is important because if the Tarantula was dead, it would dry up and be useless as food for the larval wasp.  Tarantula Hawks are very fond of milkweed.  Thanks again for your wonderful submission.

Subject:  hymenoptera
Geographic location of the bug:  Iowa
Date: 08/11/2021
Time: 10:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you ID this insect
How you want your letter signed:  Greg

Pigeon Horntail

Dear Greg,
This is a Wood Wasp known as a Pigeon Horntail.  Your individual is a female and what appears to be a stinger is her ovipositor.  She lays her eggs beneath the bark of broad leaf trees and the larvae are wood borers.  They do not seek out healthy trees but generally choose diseased or rotting trees or sometimes recently felled wood.
  According to BugGuide, they select “diseased, decaying or cut wood” and “hosts: beech, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, apple, pear, sycamore, hackberry.”

Subject:  Insect Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Canakkale Province, Turkey
Date: 08/10/2021
Time: 05:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This insect has been collected in Sorghum crop field and it is needed the identification of this insect species. Moreover, the attached pictures are original and taken from my Samsung S5 mobile phone under open field conditions of the Çanakkale Province Turkey. Thanks in advance for this insect identification. Regards.
How you want your letter signed:  Dr. Baboo Ali

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Dr. Baboo Ali,
This is a Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp, a parasitic wasp that preys upon a specific plant feeding species or genus or possibly family of insects.  You have requested an identification, but interestingly, all three of your attached images which have lengthy file names also include this information:  “
Ophion_Arı_Erkek_Edited_2021.07.12″.  What we find most interesting is that the genus name for a group of Short Tailed Ichneumons is actually Ophion and that word is in your file name.  Of the genus Ophion, BugGuide, a North American insect identification website states:  “Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars”  and “Adult Ophion species will hunt for their host caterpillar. Usually one egg is laid per host. Caterpillar usually dies during pupal stage though wasp larva remains to pupate itself.”  So, if your concern is the sorghum crop, this is a beneficial insect that is most likely hunting caterpillars that feed on the sorghum.