Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
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Subject: Big red looking ant.
Location: Kingsport, Tennessee, USA
April 10, 2015 2:04 pm
I fould a red/scarlet ant looking insect on my porch. It has black and white stripes on the bottom of it. It’s about the size of a fingernail. It’s spring time. I have never seen anything like this insect before. I don’t know if it’s an ant or not. I would really appreciate it if you could answer my question. What is it? Thank you.
Signature: Ashley

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Ashley,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp that is reported to have an extremely painful sting.  Based on this BugGuide image, it might be
Dasymutilla scaevola.

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Subject: Stinging bug
Location: colorodo
April 7, 2015 8:55 pm
got stung in the leg. Never seen a bug like this before.
Signature: kW

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear kW,
We believe your parasitic Ichneumon Wasp is a Short Tailed Ichneumon in the genus
Ophion, one of the few genera in the family known to sting.  The sting is not considered dangerous.  According to BugGuide:  “Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: some sort of pupae? larvae?
Location: Missouri, United States
April 1, 2015 11:34 pm
found these while digging out at our pond. I suspect they were underground and I dug them up. I picked them out of the water and returned back to the house to investigate them.
P.S. if you’re wondering why I’m digging the pond, it dried up and now has a hard time staying full of water. if I don’t dig it, the tadpoles can’t mature! 🙁
Signature: Michael

Possibly Horse Fly Puparia

Possibly Horse Fly Puparia

Dear Michael,
We are guessing that these might be the Puparia of Horse Flies.  Many Horse Flies have aquatic larvae.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae found in streams, ponds, and marshes, especially along the edges and in the sea shore.”
  Flies have an interesting metamorphosis process, and the pupa is encased in a puparium.  Though the information is about Blow Flies, the USA.Gov Visible Proofs Forensic Views of the Body page states:  “The larvae becomes shorter and stouter and the outer cuticle (skin layer) of the larvae hardens into the puparium and slowly darkens over a period of about 10 hours.”  We have several images of Horse Fly larvae on our site, and we cannot locate matching images to substantiate our guess at this time, but we are going to seek a second opinion.

Horse Fly Puparia, we believe

Horse Fly Puparia, we believe

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:
Don’t think they are horse fly puparia.  Almost remind me more of wasp larvae inside….How long has the pond been dry?
Eric

Thanks Eric,
Good question. I will write back and ask.  You think a wasp that digs a hole as a nest?
Daniel

There are hundreds of species of solitary wasps that dig burrows for nests.  If the puparia were large, I’m thinking cicada killer or horse guard.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Michael provides additional information
it’s certainly possible they could be wasps, the pond has been dry since late last year and only recently started filling up from the rains this year. I wonder what sort of wasp though, very interesting.

unfortunately I cannot, I already threw them away. but I’d say the biggest was about the length of a nickel if that helps at all.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this?
Location: Southern Illinois
March 28, 2015 6:48 pm
Went on a walk through a wooded area in southern Illinois and saw this insect. I’m not quite sure what it is and I’ve looked all over the internet. Picture taken 3/28/15.
Signature: Megan

Resembles Black and Red Horntail

Parasitic Wood Wasp Resembles Black and Red Horntail

Dear Megan,
Wow, this one has us confused.  It seems to resemble the Black and Red Horntail,
Urocerus cressoni, but there are too many inconsistencies for us to be sure.  The Black and Red Horntail is described on BugGuide as being:  “head, thorax and wings black, abdomen red (amount of red variable), two pale spots behind the eyes, antennae black with white tips.”  Additionally, the black and white legs are evident in images on BugGuide.  We cannot make out the “pale spots behind the eyes” in your image, and it also appears that the antennae are tipped in black.  There is no obvious ovipositor, so it could be a male of the species, however, March is many months earlier than all the sightings documented on BugGuide.  With all that said, we do not believe this is a Black and Red Horntail, but we cannot provide any other possibility at this time.  We are posting your image and we hope to get some input from our readership.

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
This is a tough one.  Near as I can tell, though, it is a parasitic wood wasp in the family Orussidae:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/13616
They are common, but not seen very often.  They are related to sawflies, but instead of being vegetarians in the larval stage, they are parasites of wood-boring insects, especially beetles.  This one might be ovipositing.
The curly antennae are the best clue here, but the angle is awkward and I’d like to see other images, if there are any, before offering a definitive ID.  I’ll stand by Orussus sp. for now, though.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: On our burr oak, in Texas.
Location: Arlington, TX
March 27, 2015 10:49 pm
Hi,
My partner asked me to grab a picture of this and see if I could help him identify it. He’s been seeing these on our burr oak, here in North Texas, since the leaves started budding this week. He’s says there are “lots” of them. He seems to think they have been laying eggs, but I haven’t seen what they have been up to to confirm this impression (and, obviously, he’s not really a Bug Guy).
For the record, it is late March, and the weather has been warming up here for a couple of weeks. (it’s up to the 70’s and low 80’s this coming week, already.)
I have included both the closer detail crop, adjusted for clarity, and the wider shot for some idea of size. They are small, probably… a half-inch? Maybe? Those are very early leaf buds at the end of an almost twig-like branch that this one is sitting on. (Sorry it is not more clear, it was already evening when he asked me to take the photo.)
Thanks! I hope you can help us out!
Signature: Kelly in Texas

Sawfly, we believe

Sawfly

Dear Kelly,
We believe this is a Sawfly, a non-stinging relative of wasps and bees.  The theory that it might be laying eggs is valid.  The larvae of Sawflies are often confused for caterpillars, and if they are numerous, they can defoliate some plants.  We are going to continue to research this request and we are also going to try to get an opinion from Eric Eaton.
  The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center website mentions “oak leafmining sawfly (Profenusa lucifex)” as an insect that feeds on Burr Oak, and though we could not find the species pictured on BugGuide, members of the genus look similar.

Eric Eaton confirms Sawfly and provides possible species identification
Yes, definitely a sawfly, perhaps Pristiphora chlorea.
Do you know how to do an “advanced search” in Bugguide?  That is often how I come up with answers for you.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge of finding you an answer! 🙂
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Georgetown KY
March 25, 2015 8:05 pm
My husband was stung by this bug. We have never seen one before. It is red and flies. What is it?
Signature: Diana

Ichneumon

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Diana,
This is an Ichneumon, a member of a family of parasitic wasps.  Most Ichneumons are perfectly harmless, though there is one genus, Ophion, that is reported to sting.  Your individual appears to be a member of the genus Ophion, the Short Tailed Ichneumons, which you can read more about on BugGuide.  We believe this is the insect that is mistaken for a stinging Crane Fly as Crane Flies do not sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination