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

Subject:  Scolid wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey  Allaire State park
Date: 07/07/2018
Time: 02:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is a scolid wasp I’m guessing?
How you want your letter signed:  Cindy

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Cindy,
This is indeed a Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae, and we believe, based on BugGuide images, that it is
Campsomeris plumipes.  According to BugGuide:  “Scoliid wasps are parasitic upon larvae of soil-inhabiting scarab beetles.”

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Rabat Morocco, lovely wasps everywhere
Geographic location of the bug:  Rabat, Morocco
Date: 07/10/2018
Time: 03:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  As July began, I saw more holes in the soil, and then these large and lovely creatures emerging from them. Now they are everywhere, buzzing about the bougonvillia, feasting on the marjoram, and dancing over the roses. They are about 1″ long, and though the pictures don’t show it well, they have yellow markings that are similar to the scolid wasp pictures supplied by others on the Mediterranean. It also has interesting segmented orange antennae.
How you want your letter signed:  Moroccan wasp fan

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Moroccan wasp fan,
Your images of this gorgeous Scarab Hunter Wasp or Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae are truly beautiful as well.  We are having trouble identifying your exact species, but your individual’s similarity to this FlickR image of
Scolia bidens from Mallorca causes us to speculate that you have captured images of a different Scolia species that also has distinctive orange antennae.

Flower Wasp

Thank you! They are really quite neat, especially because I had been wondering why there were so many holes. In Morocco, we have no screens so we share our home with any number of insects (there is a constant game with the ants, I hide the honey and they find it), but these ones are my favorite so far. I do feel a bit sad for the big bumbling beetles though, I assume the number of wasps is sadly inverse to the number of those ‘junebugs’ we saw.
Andrea

Hi again Andrea,
Insect populations do ebb and flow, so when prey is plentiful, the population of predators increases, and when prey is scarce, you will see fewer predators.  This is what keeps nature in balance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hot wasp lovin’
Geographic location of the bug:  Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque NM
Date: 05/18/2018
Time: 04:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!  We were in the nature center and came upon dozens of these wasps.   The smaller ones, which we assumed are males, were flying maybe an inch or so above the ground and clearly searching for something.  The larger one, which we assumed was a female, suddenly emerged from underground and the smaller ones went crazy.
She kept trying to get away but couldn’t fly because her wings weren’t dry.  I believe I caught the actual act of mating in one of the photos.  Are these scarab hunters?   It’s the closest we could come in identifying them, but there wasn’t an exact match in the field guide.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

A pair of Scarab Hunter Wasps

Dear Mike,
Your images are awesome, and your written commentary is a marvelous observation.  We agree that these are Scarab Hunter Wasps in the family Scoliidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Our best guess is perhaps
Crioscolia alcione (see female here on BugGuide and male here on BugGuide) or possibly Trielis octomaculata which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Members of this family exhibit sexual dimorphism, and males are smaller and often with markings different from those of the females.  Based on your observations, the males sensed the pheromones of the female that was about to emerge, and they waited for her to dig to the surface. 

Mating Activity among Scarab Hunter Wasps

Thank you!  That certainly looks like them.  There were dozens and dozens of the males searching everywhere.  They were quite friendly and just zipped around us with mild interest.

Male Wasps are physically incapable of stinging. 

Mating Scarab Hunter Wasps

Oh yeah, right?  The stinger is a modified ovipositor.
The sheer number of searching males was the most impressive thing.  There were easily 4-5 per square foot.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  beautiful bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Chisinau, Moldova  46.9989,   28.9126
Date: 03/17/2018
Time: 09:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! Today 17.03.2018 i find a bug. But i can’t identified him.  I hope you help me.  It a very beautiful bug,  i see that for a first time.
I send you a photo.
How you want your letter signed:  The Bug from Moldova

Mammoth Wasp

This beautiful insect is a female Mammoth Wasp

Mammoth Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black wasp with 4 yellow dots
Geographic location of the bug:  South Australia, Elizabeth
Date: 01/31/2018
Time: 07:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this wasp on my driveway and can’t find any relating pictures of it online. Do you know what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Naiomi

Flower Wasp

Dear Naiomi,
This looks to us like a Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae, similar to this individual posted to FlickR, or this individual also posted to FlickR.

Flower Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wild Garlic Pollinator Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Virginia Beach, VA
Date: 09/10/2017
Time: 10:31 AM EDT
Hello Bugman (or woman)! Captured this beautiful wasp enjoying the pollen from our garden this weekend. Could you possibly identify? Thanks so much again for your great website and non-stop education!
How you want your letter signed:  Buzz Buzz Buzz

Blue Winged Wasp

Dear Buzz,
Your wasp,
Scolia dubia, is commonly called a Blue Winged Wasp or Digger Wasp, according to BugGuide which also states:  “Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey. Larvae are parasites of scarab beetles, mainly Jne beetles and also the introduced Japanese beetle” and “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