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

Subject: Caterpillars on a red-twig dogwood
Location: Chester County, PA
August 12, 2014 10:17 am
While working with a client in their garden yesterday, I noted these caterpillars on a Cornus sericea (red twig dogwood) shrub. I have not seen these before, and would like to know what they are. Fortunately, the clients were just as curious, and willing to “live and let live”, especially as there was very little foliage damage. This is in southeastern Pennsylvania, photo taken August 11, 2014.
Thank you!
Signature: The Gardening Coach

Dogwood Sawflies

Dogwood Sawflies

Dear Gardening Coach,
Though they are easily mistaken for caterpillars, these are actually the larvae of Dogwood Sawflies,
Macremphytus tarsatus, and they are members of the order Hymenoptera that includes wasps, bees and ants.  According to BugGuide:  ” Young larvae are covered with a powdery white waxy coating. Mature larvae are yellow beneath with black spots or cross-stripes above.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or locust
Location: Southern Ontario Canada
August 12, 2014 4:21 am
Intendant at my golf course captured in these two very dangerous looking bugs what are they
Signature: Curious golfer

Pigeon Horntails

Pigeon Horntails

Dear Curious Golfer,
These are Pigeon Horntails, a species of Wood Wasp.  The female Pigeon Horntail lays eggs in dead or dying deciduous trees, and the larvae bore in the wood, feeding as they bore.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include beech, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, apple, pear, sycamore, and hackberry.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Freaked out mom
Location: Maryland/Pennsylvania
August 11, 2014 3:03 pm
Found this bug up at grandpas farm. Wondering what it is worried if it stings the kids. Found it a few weeks ago hanging around the dead walnut tree.
Signature: Concerned

Stump Stabber laying eggs

Stump Stabber laying eggs

Dear Concerned,
This is a female Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa, commonly called a Stump Stabber.  She is in the process of laying eggs.  Stump Stabbers are not aggressive towards humans.  The eggs layed beneath the bark will parasitize the larvae of Wood Wasps that are feeding on the dead or dying tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Looks to be a Red-footed Cannibalfly
Location: Franklin, TN (Nashville area)
August 11, 2014 1:32 pm
We’re looking for a confirmation on this being a robber fly. Your site was soo helpful in both researching what we saw out our front door and learning more about the bug in question.
This guy was about 3 cm in length and “snacking” on a wasp.
Our 3 and 5 yr old were fighting for the best position to watch this guy through a window. Question – how bad would a bite from this guy be to a small kid? And, is it okay to hang out around them as they protect our air space?
Signature: Jeff

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Paper Wasp

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Paper Wasp

Hi Jeff,
We agree that this is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, and it appears to be eating a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes (See BugGuide).  We believe a bite from a Red Footed Cannibalfly would be painful, but otherwise present no lasting effects, however we should qualify that that we believe the chances of being bitten are at about 0% unless a person decided to try to catch a Red Footed Cannibalfly by hand.  They are not aggressive towards humans, and if provoked, they would most likely just fly off.  Handling them is a totally different matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bee/wasp is it and how dangerous is it?
Location: Encinitas, CA
August 11, 2014 10:10 am
I found this guy while working out in California in Encinitas. It flew by me and landed on this section of the wall. I tried not to get too close to it as it looks rather ferocious.
Signature: Oogzy

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

Dear Oogzy,
This beautiful wasp is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, a solitary species that builds mud nests provisioned with paralyzed spiders to feed the larval wasps.  According to BugGuide:  “Nests may comprise up to 25 cylindrical cells, with typically 6-15 (up to 40) prey spiders per cell. The female may provide the cells with a temporary closure (a thin mud curtain) to keep out parasites while she is collecting prey. Once the cell is stocked, she lays an egg on one of the last prey and seals the cell with a thick mud plug. She may then add more mud to cover the entire cluster of cells.”  You can compare your image to this better focused image on BugGuide.  Mud Daubers are not aggressive wasps, though they may sting if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an American Daggar Moth Caterpillar?
Location: Cleveland, OH
August 8, 2014 5:28 pm
I have seen so many of these caterpillars this year in my backyard! I think this is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar, but why does it have these weird things on its back? All of these caterpillars are surrounding my pool and sometimes fall in.
Signature: MissX

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Dear MissX,
In our opinion, this is a Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota harrisii, and it is host to the pupae of a parasitoid wasp, most likely a Braconid.  Parasitoid Wasps are often very host specific, preying upon a single species or genus.  Parasitoids feed on the internal organs of the host species, eventually killing the host.  See this matching image on BugGuide and this matching image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination