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

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Alabama
Date: 08/15/2019
Time: 10:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this?
How you want your letter signed:  Gillian McCown

Stump Stabber

Dear Gillian,
This is a female Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurus.  Giant Ichneumons are sometimes called Stump Stabbers because the female uses her long ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the bark of trees infested with wood boring larvae of Horntails.  They are not aggressive and they do not sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Worm found on oak tree
Geographic location of the bug:  Virginia beach, VA
Date: 08/16/2019
Time: 05:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these on my oak tree this morning. 8/16/2019
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Duane Heidler

Sawfly Larvae

Dear Duane,
These are Sawfly larvae.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of wasps and bees with larvae that are frequently mistaken for caterpillars.  Based on the appearance of the individuals in this BugGuide image, and that the host plant is oak, we suspect your individuals are in the genus
Arge.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Crane Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario
Date: 08/09/2019
Time: 05:42 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this beautiful large insect with amazing colours and couldn’t help but take a picture and try to figure out what it was. The bug looks so deadly but my logic tells me it’s some sort of crane fly that wouldn’t harm you but you never know. I’m thinking someone else might find this insect really cool looking.
How you want your letter signed:  Crane fly???

Stump Stabber

This Giant Ichneumon, Megarhyssa macrurus, is commonly called a Stump Stabber because the female uses her very long ovipositor to drill into trees infested with Horntail larvae, and then to lay eggs.  Ichneumon larvae feed on the Horntail larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  American Pelicinid
Geographic location of the bug:  Piseco, New York (Adirondack Mtns)
Date: 08/10/2019
Time: 09:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just thought I’d post a pic of am AP that land on my hat today. Very friendly—crawled up and down my arm, and investigated my pulled pork sandwich.
How you want your letter signed:  Dexter Ford

American Pelecinid

Dear Dexter,
Thanks for submitting your awesome image of an American Pelecinid.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robber Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Cleveland, NY 13042
Date: 08/08/2019
Time: 09:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Mr. Bugman  – I came across this insect while photographing dragonflies in my small meadow of grasses and wildflowers. I heard him before I saw him. I was quite fascinated with how low and slow he flew and how loud he was! Sounded like a small drone! I noticed him first yesterday but all he did was fly back and forth without ever stopping. Then late this morning he was in the dirt on the edge of the little meadow acting like an ovipositing dragonfly, but in one place. Then this afternoon I saw him/her fly across the meadow and land quite close by. That is when I got the photos. Any ID help you can give me would be most appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Ginny

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Ginny,
This magnificent Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites is a Hanging Thief, and it is eating its prey, a Wasp, in the typical manner which has led to its common name, by hanging from one leg.  We rarely try to identify Hanging Thieves to the species level as we don’t have the necessary expertise, but this sure looks to us like Diogmites discolor which is pictured on BugGuide.  You might have witnessed oviposition, because according to BugGuide:  “Oviposits in ground, and ovipositor equipped with spines to aid in covering eggs. Larvae are possibly predators in soil”

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Daniel,
Your incredibly fast reply is most appreciated! A Hanging Thief no less!! That was one of the things that fascinated me about this Robber Fly – in every photo she was hanging onto the vegetation by one leg. I really enjoyed all the information you provided. Our bugs never cease to amaze! Thank you so much for all of your help. Take care – Ginny
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Sooooo BIG
Geographic location of the bug:  Titusville, NJ (Central NJ)
Date: 08/07/2019
Time: 07:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
My husband caught this massive hornet-type thing around 2:30 pm. It was sunny, hot/humid, and right before a storm. It flew into our sunporch. What is it? Does it sting?
How you want your letter signed:  Worried Mama

Cicada Killer

Dear Worried Mama,
This is a Cicada Killer, a solitary wasp that is not considered aggressive.  Social Wasps will often sting to protect the nest, but female Cicada Killers use the stinger to paralyze Cicadas to provide food for her brood.  Since your inquiry includes the information that your “husband caught” this Cicada Killer, and since it looks quite dead in your image, we are surmising that it was killed in the capture process.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive, and though they are large and scary, they do not tend to bother people and stings would be a very rare occurrence that would probably only happen if a living Cicada Killer was carelessly handled.  We have countless incidents on our site of Cicada Killers succumbing to Unnecessary Carnage.

Thank you for your quick reply! It was actually alive when he caught it, but I have begun collecting and mounting specimens that I find (it was dead in the photo – I froze it to kill it quickly and keep it intact for display). When I encountered it, it seemed aggressive, but since it was in a 15×10 room perhaps it was only looking for an exit..? Now that I know what it is, if I encounter another again I will not be quick with a kill.
Could you tell from the photo if it was male or female? I like to include as much information as possible with my specimens. …
Thank you again!!!
Amber Wilno (worried mama)

Hi Amber,
We are untagging the Unnecessary Carnage designation we originally attached to this posting.  A large Wasp trapped in a small room likely appears quite intimidating when it is buzzing and striking against the glass window panes.  We apologize, but we do not feel confident sexing your individual.  We did try to research how to distinguish the sexes, and though we did not locate an easy reference, we do like this information we found on the University of Kentucky Entomology page:  “Are cicada killers dangerous? Females have significant stingers which they plunge into cicadas to inject venom that paralyzes them. Without doubt, their stings are painful. However, they are not aggressive and do not have nest-guarding instinct of honey bees and hornets. You can walk through areas where they are active without attracting attention.

The buzzing noise that the wasps make and the warning colors on their wings and bodies intimidate and discourage predators that see them as a large meal. When attacked, females will use their stinger to protect themselves. 
Males lack stingers but are territorial. They will approach anything that enters “their area”, including walkers, people mowing or using weed-eaters, or riding tractors. They may hover and challenge trespassers but are harmless. That can be easy to forget when staring down a big wasp.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination