Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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

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