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

Subject: What is this insect?
Location: NE Ohio
September 29, 2013 9:36 am
This was found in Ohio. I’ve never seen an insect like this let along one that has a stinger that long. Approximate size of stinger was 3-4”
Signature: Mike

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Hi Mike,
This is a female Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, most likely Megarhyssa macrurus or Megarhyssa nortoni.  Giant Ichneumons are commonly called Stump Stabbers.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is the ovipositor of the female.  A female Stump Stabber inserts her ovipositor beneath the bark of a dead or dying tree that is infested with wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps like the Pigeon Horntail.  Your photo is most interesting for us because we almost always receive images of Stump Stabbers stabbing stumps.  We have read that adults take nectar, and your photo appears to illustrate a nectaring female.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of wasp is this
Location: Pensacola, Florida
September 24, 2013 12:56 pm
I found a couple of wasps nests around an old building and noticed two types of wasps. One type looked normal but the other type had very long wings. What type of Wasp is this
Signature: Lanhill

Paper Wasps

Paper Wasps

Hi Lanhill,
These are Paper Wasps in the genus Polistes.  They are not considered dangerous, though we have been getting numerous reports of aggressive Red Wasps recently.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: First Fall Day. Fly/Bee/Hornet
Location: SW Michigan, USA
September 24, 2013 5:42 am
Here are a few more pics from my first full fall day foray in my backyard- in the middle of a mature oak forest. I’m sure that the hornet is an eastern Yellow Jacket, but it wasn’t pictured in my guidebook. The fly pictured was out in force on many leaves. The bee is half the size of the larger Bumblebees that I see. Could it be a Digger Bee? I’ve noticed in the last 2 weeks that they seem to nap on my Marigolds. I can actually stroke them with my finger and all they do is raise their middle pair of legs as if to say “leave me alone, I’m napping”. I’ve done this to many of them and they all react the same way.
Signature: d.k.dodge

Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket

Dear d.k. dodge,
Thank you for submitting nine photographs of insects and other bugs that you photographed on the first day of fall.  We are posting the photo of a Yellowjacket because we don’t have many nice close ups of them and your photo is quite detailed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of bee is this?
Location: Payson, AZ
September 23, 2013 9:56 pm
I found a beautiful orange and black bee on our property, in Arizona, that has black and blue iridescent wings. I took a photo of it that I am attaching.
Would Love to find out what this beautiful creature is! :O)
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Vicki

Scarab Hunter

Scarab Hunter

Hi Vicki,
This Scoliid Wasp is positively gorgeous.  According to BugGuide:  Wasps in the family Scoliidae are commonly called:  “Flower Wasps, Mammoth Wasps, Scarab Hawks,  [or] Scarab Hunters” and the “female digs down to the host grub, stings it, and lays an egg on the paralyzed grub” and those eggs develop into “Larvae [that] are parasitoids of ground-dwelling scarab grubs.”  Thanks to BugGuide, we have identified you Scarab Hunter as 
Triscolia ardens.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parasites On Tomato Hornworm
Location: Tampa, Florida
September 22, 2013 5:17 pm
Dear What’s That Bug,
We are HUGE fans, for many years. Here is a great shot we though you’d enjoy! We sure enjoyed watching the bug show!
Signature: Bug Love, Ana & Cory

Parasitized Hornworm

Parasitized Hornworm:  Rustic Sphinx, we believe

Hi Ana & Cory,
This is definitely a parasited Hornworm, and the parasites are Braconids, however, we do not believe this is either a Tomato Hornworm or a Tobacco Hornworm.  The caudal horn does not resemble either species and the caterpillar appears to be feeding on some plant other than a member of the family Solanacea.  Compare your caterpillar to the images of a Tomato Hornworm or Five Spotted Hakmoth on Sphingidae of the Americas, and to the photos of a Tobacco Hornworm or Carolina Sphinx also on Sphingidae of the Americas.  Can you provide the name of the plant for us?  That might help assist in the species identification for your caterpillar.  Our best guess is that this might be the caterpillar of a Rustic Sphinx.  Compare the texture on the caudal horn and the head of your individual to the images posted to Sphingidae of the Americas and to BugGuide.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for responding!  I have to admit, that since I’m such a huge fan, I was on cloud nine all day from your nice response. Years ago, when I began college, I was curious about insects, and your site really inspired me to learn more. I learned so much from you. Now I’m a science teacher, and we play with bugs every chance we get, and my students are encouraged to catch them and display them (alive) in the classroom for a few days. You’ve never taught a lesson, until a giant katydid crawled on your (and your students’) arms! Cory is an environmental scientist and a lover of all “bugs” as well. He was also the photographer of this stunning shot.
After your help, we concur that it is a Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar. He/she was on a Beauty Berry, callicarpa americana, that is in my front yard. After research, the beauty berry is a rustic sphinx moth host plant. I can’t wait to share this with my students tomorrow. Unfortunately for the caterpillar (and the Braconids), it was eaten by a bird 🙁
Thanks again for your reply. We absolutely love what you do!
Ana & Cory
Tampa, FL

Hi again Ana & Cory,
Thank you for your inspirational email.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Cerbat Mts. Arizona. Near Chloride.
September 22, 2013 8:38 pm
I took this picture Sept. 22, 2013 in the Cerbat Mts., near Chloride, Arizona. It was solitary and not very aggressive.
Signature: Walt Barnes

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Hi Walt,
This appears to be a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and it is actually a social wasp.  We suspect this individual might be hunting for caterpillars or other insect prey on that oak tree so that it can return to the nest to feed the developing larvae.  It is difficult to be certain, but your individual appears to have markings similar to the Polistes comanchus pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination