Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"

Subject:  Scoliid wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 12:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi I have 100’s of these flying Ober my grass in nj
I’m afraid for by dogs but I understand they don’t sting
How do I get rid of them?
How you want your letter signed:  Bob NJ

Blue Winged Wasp

Our automated response:  Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

Thank you
I think they’re scoliosis
1st thought they were Secada hawks

Dear Bob,
This is a Blue Winged Wasp, Scolia dubia.  Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine in humans.  You are correct that Scoliid Wasps are not aggressive and we strongly doubt they will sting you or your dogs.  Because the Blue Winged Wasps are so plentiful, there must be a large number of Scarab grubs in your lawn.  Many homeowners spend money to have their lawns treated with pesticides to eliminate the Scarab grubs.  You have a natural remedy.  We would choose the Blue Winged Wasps over pesticides.  We do not offer extermination advice.  We don’t want to even inquire about the circumstances leading to the death of this Blue Winged Wasp.

Subject:  What the heck is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Paralowie, south australia
Date: 01/24/2019
Time: 03:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug and did a quick google and it looks like a blue winged wasp which is from America. I’m in Australia! Surely I’m wrong.
How you want your letter signed:  lysieebear

Hairy Flower Wasp

Dear lysieebear,
This is a Hairy Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae, the same family as the North American Blue Winged Wasp, hence their similarity in appearance.  We located a similar individual on FlickR, but it is only identified to the family level.  Thanks to the Atlas of Living Australia, we believe we have identified your individual as
Laeviscolia frontalis frontalis.

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.”

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

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.
-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

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.