Currently viewing the category: "Thread Waisted Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Digging in the dirt!
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Nevada
Date: 10/25/2019
Time: 03:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  While out to lay pavers in our yard we got to watch a fascinating insect we’d never seen before. We watched for some time as it dug in our soft dirt, buzzing in the hole, moving rocks (sometimes as large as it was!) and at one point it unearthed a grub of sorts! Biting it behind the head it held in… it didn’t appear to sting it, and eventually the grub ceased to move. For an hour we watched as our friend dig holes, and then moved on to another spot. On one hole we watched her start to fill it back in, going in to buzz excitedly, then back to digging. I have a couple of videos too, if you’re interested.
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Kristi Shaffer

Thread-Waisted Wasp with Cutworm Prey

Dear Kristi,
This is a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Specidae, and the prey is a Cutworm.  The Wasp will not eat the Caterpillar.  Rather, the female Wasp has paralyzed the Caterpillar which it will bury and the paralyzed Caterpillar will provide food for the developing Wasp larva which will feed on the helpless, but living Caterpillar.  We believe we have correctly identified your Wasp as
Podalonia argentifrons thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are provisioned with caterpillars exclusively from the family Noctuidae.” 

Thread-Waisted Wasp with Cutworm Prey

Thread-Waisted Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Great Black Wasps
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover Township, NJ
Date: 07/29/2019
Time: 06:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was out in my pollinator garden this afternoon and noticed a huge Great Black Wasp on the mountain mint.  A very exciting discovery as I rarely see them.  And then, I started noticing that there were maybe a half dozen of them in the garden! I am hopeful that this means a colony is getting established somewhere on our property.  I already have a nice colony of Great Golden Diggers, so have Black Wasps would be a bonus.  A few photos below.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah E Bifulco

Great Black Wasp

Dear Deborah,
Your Great Black Wasp images are awesome.  That is exciting to learn you may have a stable population of this incredible predator in your vicinity.  Daniel sees Great Golden Digger Wasps every summer on onion flowers and chives flowers, and there is a healthy population of Katydids in the garden as well, but last year was the first time he had a Great Black Wasp sighting on a wild sunflower, but alas, he had no camera handy.

Great Black Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasps?
Geographic location of the bug:  Nest uncovered during window replacement
Date: 07/10/2019
Time: 09:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have read many accounts that wasps paralyze and lay eggs in these “victims”?
How you want your letter signed:  Sue

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest with Crickets

Dear Sue,
We wish you had a higher resolution image.  We have never seen an image of such a fully stocked Grass Carrying Wasp nest.  Female Grass Carrying Wasps provision the nest with Crickets, especially Tree Crickets.  We had no idea each larva would eat so many Crickets.  We were under the impression that one cell was used per egg.  We will need to research this matter more.  Your understanding of the behavior of solitary female Wasps and their care for the young is correct.  Paralyzing the prey allows the victim to remain alive and fresh as opposed to old and dried out, so if the eggs hatch in several months, there will be fresh food provided for the long dead mother Wasp.  Social Wasps like Hornets have no need to paralyze prey as there are worker Wasps assigned to child care so the queen can just procreate.  Where are you located? 

Close-Up of Grass Carrying Wasp Nest with Crickets

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this blue thin but large looking beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Santa Clarita CA
Date: 09/03/2018
Time: 12:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify? About 3+ inches long and on the “slender” vs. full beetle shape
How you want your letter signed:  Kat

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter

Dear Kat,
This is not a Beetle.  It is a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter,
Chlorion aerarium, a Wasp in the family Sphecidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Although generally not closely associated with humans, they are found wherever their hosts (Gryllus crickets) are found, which could include close proximity to homes.”  We believe “3+ inches long” is an exaggeration, as BugGuide states:  “~25 mm.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Regular visitor to mountain mint
Geographic location of the bug:  SW Indiana
Date: 08/19/2018
Time: 10:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Would appreciate an ID on this large insect visiting our mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) plants
How you want your letter signed:  Paul

Thread-Waisted Wasp

Dear Paul,
This is a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, but we are having trouble identifying its species.  It looks similar to individuals in the genus
Sphex pictured on BugGuide, including the Great Golden Digger Wasp, but its abdominal color and white facial and thoracic markings are quite different.  Perhaps one of our readers will provide assistance.

Thanks! I found a Sphex habenus that was close but am not 100% on that ID.

That is the same species that Cesar Crash commented regarding.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Orleans
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 06:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy in my apartment, tried to get him to an open window but got spooked when he flew at me. I looked up other wasps in the area but none of them seemed quite right.
How you want your letter signed:  Hbb

Great Golden Digger Wasp Carnage

Dear Hbb,
The Great Golden Digger Wasp is not an aggressive species, and what you mistook for aggression was likely it desperately trying to get back outside.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination