Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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

Subject: some kind of wasp or hornet?
Location: Balkan/Montenegro/PodgoricaJuly 16, 2017 5:54 am
Hell0! ☻ It’s been a while since my last entry… so I’ve found this fella yesterday in Podgorica,main city of Montenegro… It was about two inches long,and resting.I just took these pics and continued my way ☻ Anyway,I’ve seen this specific hornet or wasp for the first time,so I’m interested in what species it is exactly…
Signature: Sam

Female Mammoth Wasp

Dear Sam,
This is a female Mammoth Wasp, and this year we have gotten images of female Mammoth Wasps from Morocco, Italy and Malta.  Female Mammoth Wasps have yellow heads while the heads of male Mammoth Wasps are black.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Bee – Ifrane, Morocco
Location: Ifrane, Morocco
June 26, 2017 4:07 pm
Hello
My 6yr old daughter spotted this magnificent beast this afternoon, just next to a bin on some grass. We were strolling through the town of Ifrane in the middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco (26th June).
Notable by its size – approximately 50mm end to end. Quite furry on its body except for a solid, shiny yellow head and 2 smooth, yellow oval patches on its back. Fine hairy legs too!
We’d love to know what it is!
Thank you
Signature: Naomi, Farida and Soukaina

Female Mammoth Wasp

Dear Naomi, Farida and Soukaina,
This is a female Mammoth Wasp, and we just finished posting another example of a female Mammoth Wasp from Venice, Italy.  The yellow headed female Mammoth Wasp is capable of stinging (black headed male Mammoth Wasps cannot sting) but she is not aggressive toward humans.  Her main goal is to locate the large grubs of Scarab Beetles.  When she finds one, she lays an egg that will feed upon the living Scarab Grub when it hatches, eventually killing the grub.

Female Mammoth Wasp

Hello Daniel
Absolutely delighted to hear your answer. Thank you so much for taking the time to help.
Best wishes,
Naomi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Artists Abraod
Location: Venice, Italy
June 26, 2017 2:23 pm
Dear Bugman,
I have just returned from a trip to Europe to with Sharon Lockhart and a group of Cal Arts students (myself included) where we did little more than look at art. However, at the Venice Biennale, we snuck out the back door of the Polish pavilion and stumbled across a beautiful bug. All being artists, we were immediately drawn to its crazy coloring as well as its large size and couldn’t help but wonder what was it?! Please help us all by answering this burning question.
Also, as an aside Sharon sends her love.
Warm wishes,
Signature: Elizabeth

Female Mammoth Wasp

Dear Elizabeth,
Welcome home.  This gorgeous, not quite real looking, yellow-headed creature is a female Mammoth Wasp, who can be distinguished from the male Mammoth Wasp who has a black head.  The female Mammoth Wasp hunts for the large grubs of Scarab Beetles, laying an egg on each she finds.  The larval Mammoth Wasp feeds upon and eats the Scarab Grub alive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasps
Location: Costa Blanca , spain
June 4, 2017 11:38 am
Hi guys can you help me identify this wasp found hovering in my garden today.
Signature: Adrian

Male Mammoth Wasp

Dear Adrian,
This is a male Mammoth Wasp,
Megascolia maculata flavifrons, and you can verify our identification by comparing your image to this FlickR image.  According to Project Noah:  “Meeting with this flying monster probably wont let you calm down for a while. The larger female (may reach 5.5-6 cm) can be told apart by her yellow head and short antennae. The male has a black head and longer antennae. Both have two yellow bands on their abdomens, which can be divided to form 4 spots as it is shown on the photos. Nevertheless, they hold no harm to humans despite their size, in contrast to common wasps and hornets. Indeed, mammoth wasps do have stings, but not for self-defence or nest protection (in fact, they are solitary wasps).”  We have several images of female Mammoth Wasps from Spain in our archives.  Interestingly, we just received a submission of a female Mammoth Wasp from Malta, and we post-dated the submission to go live to our site later in the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday.  We are also going to post-date your submission to go live on the same date.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identify the insect
Location: Malta
June 4, 2017 8:55 am
Dear Bugman,
I found this insect in the fields of Malta and have looked all over the internet to try and identify it. Could you please help.
Thank you
Signature: S

Mammoth Wasp

Dear S,
This magnificent creature is a Mammoth Wasp,
Megascolis maculata.  According to the Times of Malta:  “The mammoth wasp is the largest wasp you will encounter in Malta or, for that matter, anywhere in Europe. It belongs to a family of wasps known as scolid wasps and, in fact, is also known as the large yellow-banded scolid wasp.”  According to Maltese Nature:  “Only females have stings. The sting is used mainly to paralyse the white larvae of Europe’s largest beetle; the rhinoceros beetle. She then lays a single egg in the larva’s body. When the egg hatches, the wasp larva starts to feed on the larva’s internal tissues. It eventually kills it and continues eating it until nothing is left but an empty skin. When fully grown the larva forms a cocoon and emerges in spring when the air has warmed up sufficiently.  In Maltese the mammoth wasp is known as qerd iż-żaqquq. Qerd is Maltese for destroyer but I could not find the meaning of żaqquq. I assume that as this wasp kills the larvae of the rhinoceros beetle żaqquq could be a lost name for this insect which nowadays is known as buqarn kbir. ”  According to Project Noah:  “Meeting with this flying monster probably wont let you calm down for a while. The larger female (may reach 5.5-6 cm) can be told apart by her yellow head and short antennae. The male has a black head and longer antennae. Both have two yellow bands on their abdomens, which can be divided to form 4 spots as it is shown on the photos. Nevertheless, they hold no harm to humans despite their size, in contrast to common wasps and hornets. Indeed, mammoth wasps do have stings, but not for self-defence or nest protection (in fact, they are solitary wasps).”  We will be post-dating your submission to go live to our site later in the month while our editorial staff is away on holiday.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for replying back, it was a very interesting read and I am glad I have a name for this beautiful creature.  Kind Regards
S

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination