Archive

Wasps

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

This one is likely female since it seemed to be on the hunt through the meadow looking for mole crickets which are the larval hosts for its larvae.

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

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: Potter/Mason Wasp (likely Euodynerus megaera)

New to my buggy life list.  The blue wings caught my attention though these photographs don’t reflect their true color.

Subfamily Eumeninae – Potter and Mason Wasps

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/84841

key: https://cjai.biologicalsurvey.ca/bmc_05/key_euodynerus.html

“Biology. Nests in borings in wood and uses agglutinated sand or less commonly mud for closing plugs and cell partitions. Preys on caterpillars of Tortricidae, Crambidae (Pyraustinae), Pyralidae (Epipaschiinae, Phycitinae), Amphisbatidae, and Erebidae (Herminiinae, formerly in Noctuidae) (Krombein 1967, 1979).”

Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLUE MISTFLOWER (Conoclinium coelestinum)

Mason Wasp (likely Euodynerus megaera)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/ooops-anatomy-of-a-potter-wasp-nest/

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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: Chalcid Wasp (Brachymeria flavipes)

New to my buggy life list.

Family Chalcididae – Chalcidid Wasps
Subfamily Chalcidinae

“Chalcidids are predominantly solitary, primary endoparasitoids of Lepidoptera and Diptera…”

Learn: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/data/chalcidoids/chalcididae.html

Taxon record

32 listed Lepidoptera hosts including at least 3 found in my garden:

Southern Flannel Moth Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis)
Pale-edged Selenisa Moth Caterpillar (Selenisa sueroides)
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes)

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

https://bugguide.net/node/view/1501631

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ichneumon Wasp (Subfamily Campopleginae)

These wasps are difficult to identify down to species. Several species in subfamily listed by The University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (FNATL) under the synonym subfamily Porizontinae.

They are Endoparasitoids. which make cocoons. This one is female based on identification of my bugguide submission.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/21674

There is a lookalike posted on bugguide which states possibly Casinaria sp. and that genus uses large moth larvae such as the saddleback caterpillar as hosts according to FNATL above.

Shown on the dead pine needle of Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris) which were hanging from branches of a live oak tree.

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

Velvet Ants Family (Mutillidae) This one is female.

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

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

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

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

female

Male from 2012:

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

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