Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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Subject: Wasp or Bee
Location: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
April 30, 2017 6:57 pm
I found this insect resting with 4 others in the early morning on Salvia coccinea. I have tried to id it from books and internet, the closest seems to be Scarab Hunter, however I do not believe this is large enough at about 1-1.25 inches.
I photograph insects and id them to post on my Instagram @thedailybug with common and scientific names.
Thank you for your help. Your page is a great assistance.
Signature: Laurel Robertson

Scarab Hunter: Scolia nobilitata

Dear Laurel,
This is indeed a Scarab Hunter Wasp, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
Scolia nobilitata based on this and other BugGuide images.  According to BugGuide, it is a “Small scoliid with dark wings, abdomen dark with 4-6 light yellow/orange spots” and that is consistent with your observations.  The University of Florida has a nice paper on Scoliid Wasps of Florida and they provide this description:  “Variation: Body length is 10 to 15 mm. Segment 1 rarely with faint yellow spots, and those on segments 2 and 3 are sometimes very faint. Segments 4 through 7 may be dark mahogany to black.”  According to BugGuide data, sightings in Florida begin in May, so your individual was a bit early this year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination