Archive

Wasps

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ichneumon Wasp (Anomalon sp.)

Apparently these wasps are difficult to identify down to species and since they are miniscule I can understand why.  A. ejuncidum is the only species listed by The University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory

Parasites of the larva of Coleoptera (beetles) and possibly Lepidoptera (butterfly/moth)

Learn: http://natl.ifas.ufl.edu/biota/ichneumon_wasps.php

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/348341

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/balance-in-the-garden-ichneumon-parasitic-wasp/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bee Wolf Wasp (Philanthus ventilabris)

New to my buggy life list.  This one was hovering in place before landing on grasses in the meadow area.  Interesting to watch.

Food for this genus
“Adults feed on nectar, but larvae feed on bees provided by mother at time of egg-laying. Many species prey especially on sweat bees (family Halictidae),”

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/4345

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis)

Velvet Ants Family (Mutillidae) This one is female.

on the hunt along the railing.

Not an ant but a wasp. Painful sting from female, thus the common name. Females do not have wings so don’t fly. Males do have wings, but don’t sting.

Predator, but not of cows.

Learn: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in717

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/the-cow-killer-and-other-misnomers/

Female

Male from 2012:

Male Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Scoliid Wasp (Scolia nobilitata)

In addition to pollination duties, they are parasitoids of scarab beetle larvae found in the soil.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/scoliid_wasps.htm

At dusk they congregate together and sleep: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/scoliid-wasp-scolia-nobilitata/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Mole Cricket Hunter Wasp (Larra bicolor)

 

Photos of it using various nectar sources are at the link below under “my take”.

Introduced to the U.S. to control exotic mole cricket pests. Does not target native species, only the exotics.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/Larra_wasps.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/when-an-introduced-species-does-the-job/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus)

No Taxon Apoid Wasps (Apoidea)- traditional Sphecidae
Family Sphecidae – Thread-waisted Wasps
Subfamily Sphecinae
Tribe Sphecini

Fossorial (nests in the ground); prey Tettigoniidae (katydids) in genera Microcentrum & Scudderia (source: http://natl.ifas.ufl.edu/biota/sphecid_wasps.php)

Learn:  G. K. Lechner, Interesting Incidents with Sphex pensylvanicus Wasps and Their Prey Items in Sioux City, Iowa, USA
https://blaypublishers.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/lechner-leb-41-interesting-incidents-with-sphex-pensylvanicus-linnaeus.pdf

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD COFFEE (Psychotria nervosa)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Four-toothed Mason Wasp (Monobia quadridens)

A parasitoid wasp that paralyzes caterpillars as the food to provision their nest for their larvae.

Shortly after this photo, I watched it grab a small giant swallowtail caterpillar and take off.

Learn: http://bugoftheweek.com/blog/2018/9/8/humans-help-wasps-wasps-help-humans-four-toothed-mason-wasp-imonobia-quadridensi

Learn more: https://uwm.edu/field-station/four-toothed-mason-wasp/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

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