Archive

Wasps

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: : Spanish Needles (Bidens alba)

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: Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysis sp. possibly angolensis)

Superfamily Chrysidoidea – Cuckoo Wasps and Allies
Family Chrysididae – Cuckoo Wasps
Subfamily Chrysidinae
Tribe Chrysidini
Genus Chrysis

https://bugguide.net/node/view/243038

Eyecatching metallic coloring.  Spotted this one checking out the decorative shutters that the Mud Daubers build their nests behind.

Cuckoo wasps are parasitoids and cleptoparasites of other insects (mainly other wasps) e.g., place eggs in the unfinished or untended nest of another wasp or bee. This is similar behavior in nature to the cuckoo bird, thus the common name.

Adults pollinate

Learn: https://www.chrysis.net/chrysididae/overview-of-chrysididae/

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/this-cuckoos-offspring-depend-on-a-mud-dauber-wasp/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Caribbean Scoliid Wasp (Dielis dorsata)

syn. Campsomeris dorsata

Superfamily Scolioidea
Family Scoliidae – Scoliid Wasps
Subfamily Campsomerinae

Introduced to Florida. ” to aid in reducing coleopteran pests in sugar cane agricultural systems. … and might still be an important biological control agent of white grubs in sugar cane as well as turf production and maintenance.”

Learn: https://bioone.org/journals/Florida-Entomologist/volume-101/issue-3/024.101.0334/The-Introduction-and-Establishment-of-Campsomeris-dorsata-Hymenoptera–Scoliidae/10.1653/024.101.0334.full

INaturalist is where I got the common name from Caribbean Scoliid Wasp

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Spanish Needles (Bidens alba)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Scoliid Wasp  (Dielis sp. possibly trifasciata)

This male was catching a snooze in the flower.

beneficial: parasitic on Scarab Beetle larvae.

Superfamily Scolioidea
Family Scoliidae – Scoliid Wasps
Subfamily Campsomerinae
Genus Dielis

“….scoliid larvae are external parasitoids of soil-inhabiting scarab beetle larvae”

Learn: https://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/scoliid_wasps.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: ASTER (Symphyotrichum sp.)

 

 

Yellow can be seen on the middle tibia which is how I arrived at this species identification. Conversation at: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1058436

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tiphiid Wasp (Tiphia sp.)

Parasitoids of White Grubs (larva of japanese beetles)  This guy (gal?) was enjoying the honeydew produced by aphids on the wild lime tree.

“Tiphia wasps’ presence is greatly influenced by the availability of adult food sources. The female adults feed in the morning in vegetations for food, such as nectar or honeydews (emitted by aphids or whiteflies), before looking for grubs to deposit their eggs. Under favorable conditions they can parasitize up to 60% of beetle larvae in a given area. Like other insects, they are killed by pesticide, so it is not advised to use pesticides indiscriminately (Ohio State University, 2003).”

Learn: http://www.oisat.org/control_methods/natural_enemies/parasitoids/tiphia_wasp.html

Learn more: http://www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu/media/crecifasufledu/faculty/rogers/11RogersandPotter2004c.pdf

“Two species of tiphiid wasps, Tiphia vernalis Rohwer and Tiphia popilliavora Rohwer have proven successful biocontrol agents against Japanese beetle grubs (Fleming 1976). Tiphia vernalis attacks overwintering grubs, whereas Tiphia popilliavora attacks young grubs in late summer.” source: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in630

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

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-marked Pachodynerus Mason Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis) with prey

a.k.a. Red and Black Mason Wasp

Use caterpillars as larval hosts including many pest species. If you look closely, this one dug some tiny bounty out of the bud.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-39_red_and_black_mason_wasp.htm

Superfamily Vespoidea – Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies
Family Vespidae – Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps
Subfamily Eumeninae – Potter and Mason Wasps

Shown on Florida Native Plant: CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia)

My take: Spring Nesting Season Isnt Just for Birds
https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/spring-nesting-season-isnt-just-for-birds/

Red-marked Pachodynerus Mason Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis) digging for prey

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Caribbean Scoliid Wasp (Dielis dorsata)

New to my buggy life list.

syn. Campsomeris dorsata

Superfamily Scolioidea
Family Scoliidae – Scoliid Wasps
Subfamily Campsomerinae

Introduced to Florida. ” to aid in reducing coleopteran pests in sugar cane agricultural systems. … and might still be an important biological control agent of white grubs in sugar cane as well as turf production and maintenance.”

Learn: https://bioone.org/journals/Florida-Entomologist/volume-101/issue-3/024.101.0334/The-Introduction-and-Establishment-of-Campsomeris-dorsata-Hymenoptera–Scoliidae/10.1653/024.101.0334.full

INaturalist is where I got the common name from Caribbean Scoliid Wasp

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Spanish Needles (Bidens alba)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Thynnid Wasp (probably Myzinum carolinianum)

Beneficial

Larvae are parasitoids of white grubs so can be used in biological control.

Adults pollinate

Learn: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN85700.pdf

Learn more: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in857 (*)

* It seems that this species was moved from Typhiidae family

Taxonomy (source: bugguide.net):
Order Hymenoptera – Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies
No Taxon Aculeata – Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps
Superfamily Thynnoidea
Family Thynnidae – Thynnid Wasps
Subfamily Myzininae
Genus Myzinum

Key: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288606203_Taxonomic_Purgatory_Sorting_Out_The_Wasp_Genus_Myzinum_Latreille_In_North_America_Hymenoptera_Tiphiidae_Myzininae

Thynnid Wasp (probably Myzinum carolinianum)

My take: Got Grubs? Help is on the Way

Click here to see confirmed photos of female at my place on Saltbush

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Potter/Mason Wasp (Euodynerus sp. likely castigatus rubrivestis)

New to my buggy life list.   I initially thought this was a Red-marked Pachodynerus Mason Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis) but it seemed too small.  On closer examination I saw the red dots on the rear, side and behind the eye which led me to this species.

Eumenines prey mainly upon moth larvae, although some take larvae of leaf-feeding beetles. Adults take nectar.
Superfamily Vespoidea – Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies
Family Vespidae – Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps
Subfamily Eumeninae – Potter and Mason Wasps
Genus Euodynerus

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

There are many different species in this genus found in the state of Florida.  See the collection list here:  https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Florida-State-Collection-of-Arthropods/Explore-the-Collection/Insect-Collection/Hymenoptera2/Vespidae

There is interesting documentation on the subspecies of certain wasps in Florida that appear to have taken on red coloration where it is yellow in other locations.  Research paper:

“Lists are presented of 79 species of Florida insects, mostly wasps, that have distinctive dark red markings on a black background. Most of these species have more northern relatives (subspecies or congeners) whose markings are yellow rather than red. This apparent replacement of yellow-marked forms by red-marked forms in Florida has occurred at least 31 times in different lineages. Yellow-marked and red-marked species may be sympatric in Florida. Biogeographic details of the phenomenon are poorly known.” Deyrup, Mark. (2009). Red and black coloration in Florida hymenoptera. Southeastern Naturalist. 2. 511-522. 10.1656/1528-7092(2003)002[0511:RABCIF]2.0.CO;2.

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia)

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: 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

Click to access 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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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Paper Wasps (Polistes sp.) with caterpillar prey

I saw this wasp struggling with its *prize* in a patch of grass and Pepperweed so I figured it had a Great Southern White butterfly caterpillar. On closer inspection via the magic of computer monitor zoom, I believe it has a Mobile Groundling Moth caterpillar (Condica mobilis) which I’ve found feeding on Bidens alba in the past. The B. alba was the next plant over.

The black and greenish-yellow “goo” is the caterpillar entrails (guts). Learn more: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-01_paper_wasp.htm

Paper Wasps can be aggressive if you disturb the nest although I have been able to relocate nests with no stinging incidents. People with bee allergy should keep their distance. If it is in a location that people will not get too close, leave them as an efficient biocontrol agent.

Beneficial: control of pest catepillar species which they use as food for their developing larva. (think your vegetable garden pests) Adults also feed on fruits

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/572

Learn the habits of Polistes spp.: https://blogs.cornell.edu/insectid/files/2013/11/Paper-Wasps-1qxfw0c.pdf

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My relocation tale: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/the-wildlife-garden-fashionista/

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20140709140116/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/wasp-that.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Scoliid Wasp  (Dielis plumipes)

syn. Campsomeris plumipes

I keep a coffee container next to the compost container to collect rainwater.  I reached down this past week to do that and noticed this beautiful wasp swimming and unable to get out.  I gently poured the water off and rescued this pollinator. After a brief time of wing drying he flew off.

In February 2019 Buguide.net changed this to Dielis plumipes, but I can’t find any written documentation confirming the genus/species change.

beneficial: parasitic on Scarab Beetle larvae.

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

Saved from drowning!

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