Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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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.

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Subject: Scarab Hunter Wasp?
Location: Orlando Florida
April 2, 2017 8:41 pm
Not sure of the ID on this one. It almost looked to be gathering pollen which I know wasps don’t do. Has three yellow dots on thorax. Photographed on a purslane flower.
Signature: Cledry

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Cledry,
We agree that this is a Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae.  We believe that based on the resemblance of BugGuide images of
Campsomeris trifasciata to your individual, and by its range which includes Florida, that we have a proper identification.  We would not rule out that it might be Campsomeris plumipes, which is also represented on BugGuide.

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Any idea what this is?
Location: Mpumalanga, South Africa
February 12, 2017 2:37 pm
This wasp? was rather aggressive.
Signature: Yes

Mammoth Wasp

This is a Mammoth Wasp in the family Scoliidae, and though there are several images posted to iSpot of this distinctive Scoliid, it is only identified to the family level.  Female Mammoth Wasps prey upon the grubs of Scarab Beetles which provide food for her developing young.

Mammoth Wasp

Mammoth Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black large flying insect. Blue wings
Location: NSW Australia
February 12, 2017 11:14 pm
Hey, NSW Australia here. Just found this guy near the door. He is larger than a wasp and smaller than a hornet also has the iridescent type blue wings. Just wondering what he might be… haven’t seen this one before
Signature: Regards, andrew

Black Flower Wasp

Dear Andrew,
Though we first located this image on FlickR, we are much more comfortable informing you that this is a Black Flower Wasp,
Austroscolia soror, since the same image is posted to iNaturalist.  The species is also pictured on the Atlas of Living Australia and Encyclopedia of Life.  The Black Flower Wasp is a member of the family Scoliidae, and females withing the family prey on the grubs of Scarab Beetles by laying their eggs, so the beetle grubs provide a live food source for the developing wasp larvae. 

Black Flower Wasp

Black Flower Wasp

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Location: Morocco
November 24, 2016 10:09 am
Dear Daniel Marlos:
Just happened upon your site and decided to let you know about my own minor efforts in entomology. I spend a good deal of my time (retired) in Morocco and one thing I do is take photos of all sorts of subjects, including plenty of ‘bug’ pictures – especially bees and butterflies. Many are as yet to be uploaded since I’m trying to learn the basics about taxonomy but, alas, it’s slow going!
… Thanks for any help or suggestions you might offer.
Signature: Jearld Moldenhauer

Scarab Hunter Wasp, we believe

Scarab Hunter Wasp, we believe

Dear Jearld,
WE believe the hairy Hymenopteran is a Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae.  Here is an image that looks similar that is posted to PicClick, but we can’t find any information on the species.  Though the colors are quite different, the body morphology of this
Scolia dubia posted to BugGuide looks similar to that of your individual.  Your other wasp might be a Paper Wasp in the subfamily Polistinae.

Possibly Paper Wasp

Possibly Paper Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination