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

Subject:  Black bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Island NY
Date: 10/14/2018
Time: 08:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This black thing fell from above my head onto my leg while I was sitting at the train station. It slid down off my leg & got caught wiggling around between my sock and sneaker! I thought it was a black cockroach!! Anyway, I injured it trying to get it out of my shoe. Now out it actually looks like some sort of a Bee?? I have never seen one this color! What do you think it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious

Blue Winged Wasp

Dear Curious,
This is a Blue Winged Wasp, Scolia dubia, one of the Scarab Hunter Wasps.  According to BugGuide:  “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of
Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp like insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Skopelos, Greece
Date: 09/12/2018
Time: 07:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  On holiday this insect settled on me and was quite happy so folded its wings . Have asked some locals but they don’t know what it is .
How you want your letter signed:  Vivien

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Vivien,
This is a magnificent Scarab Hunter Wasp and thanks to images on pBase and on FlickR, we are confident it is
Scolia hirta.

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Black Desert Wasp other than Tarantula Hawk
Geographic location of the bug:  Lost Palms Oasis – Joshua Tree NP
Date: 09/04/2018
Time: 07:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  While hiking in J-Tree this week (Early September), I came across a small swarm of large, black wasps around a patch of milkweed. I initially thought they were Tarantula Hawks, but upon closer inspection they were distinctly different from the T-Hawks I’ve seen around Southern California.
Description:
-Black Body approx. 1.5″ in length.
-Rust-Red Abdomen
-Black wings with a subtle blueish sheen.
-Found in a small swarm on Milkweed.
I’ve encountered many different bees and wasps on hikes, but never anything this large that wasn’t a Tarantula Hawk. I couldn’t find anything online that looked like them. Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Ryan Dunn – @CogArtist

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Ryan,
We have identified your beautiful Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae as
Triscolia ardens thanks to images on BugGuide where it states the range is:  “Texas west to California, and south into Mexico.”  According to BugEric:  “Their life cycle can be generalized as follows.  The female wasps fly low over the ground, somehow divining the presence of subterranean scarab beetle grubs.  Once she unearths the grub, she stings it into paralysis.  this allows her to lay a single egg on the grub.  After she accomplishes her mission, she re-buries the grub and flees the scene of the crime (some species have been observed moving the grub deeper into the soil and fashioning an earthen cell around it before depositing an egg and sealing the tunnel).  The beetle grub apparently never recovers from its coma.  The egg of the wasp hatches, and the larva that emerges will feed as an external parasite on its host for about a week or two before spinning a silken cocoon and pupating.  Most North American scoliids overwinter in the pupal stage.”

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  hundreds swammed in yard
Geographic location of the bug:  kentucky
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 01:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  At first I thought these had something to do with the bag worms in a tree in my yard, but I have no idea what these are, maybe a bee? It’s a full blown infestation.
How you want your letter signed:  billie

Scarab Hunter Wasps

Dear billie,
These are Wasps in the family Scoliidae,
Scolia dubia, commonly called Scarab Hunter Wasps, Digger Wasps or Blue Winged Wasps, and they are not aggressive toward humans.  Female Scarab Hunter Wasps prey upon the grubs of Scarab Beetles, including Japanese Beetles, and the large number you have encountered indicates that last year, many Beetles did not mature as they provided food for the current generation.  We suspect they are interested in the evergreen shrub because they are feeding on sweet sap.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fly or wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Allentown, pa
Date: 08/20/2018
Time: 06:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw three of these wasplike insects feeding today. They all had similar markings. What are they?
How you want your letter signed:  Tom in PA

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Tom in PA,
The Scarab Hunter Wasp,
Scolia dubia, is just one of the numerous wasp species that feed on Goldenrod.  They hunt Scarab Beetle larvae as food for their brood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  flying all around my yard
Geographic location of the bug:  northern indiana
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 10:51 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  dont seem to be a threat, flying just above the grass, there is a lot of them
How you want your letter signed:  Joe

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Joe,
This is a solitary Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae, and they are not aggressive toward humans.  Your individual,
Scolia dubia, is commonly called a Blue Winged Wasp.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey. Larvae are parasites of scarab beetles, mainly June beetles and also the introduced Japanese beetle.”  Since the grubs of both Japanese Beetles and June Beetles are injurious to cultivated plants and lawns, the presence of the Blue Winged Wasps is a good sign for your garden.  BugGuide also states:  “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host.”  You may have witnessed the courtship dance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination