Category: wasps

Cockroaches beware!.  Here is an Evaniid wasp, Ensign Wasp (the abdomen is a flag…get it?), possibly Hyptia harpyoides.  This group parasitizes cockroaches at least our native cockroaches.  Not sure if they find our indoor cockroaches acceptable.  

Great Basin National Park.  Still processing photos from our big survey of bees of U.S. parks.   In this case, there was a lovely mutillid wasp, (velvet ant) in the sample.  Oddly the female’s hair color shifted between the shots….Not clear why

Peering over at you…. A Sand Wasp, female, a hunter of flies for its babies. Bembix americana antilleana, female, from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba #wasps 

Ah, how lovely small things can be.  

Here is a Torymus species (thanks Matt Buffington for the looky id while you were in the lab).  Often parasitizing gall forming wasps, you can see from its ovipositer that something interesting is happening out there in nature land.  This one was collected on Will’s Mountain in Maryland…most likely by Francis Mullan while on one of our expeditions.  Photo by Cole Cheng.

Cotesia congregata – a little parasite of caterpillars.  

This one is from Karen Kester’s lab in Richmond where she and her gradstudents raise them and discover things about the host (Sphinx moths I believe) parasite relationship.  Photo by Greta Forbes. 

Wicked Wasp Week #13. If you ever visit Guantanamo Bay (full of all sorts of lovely dry scrub with cacti taller than a house!) you might turn a corner and meet Hoplisoides xerophilus, I hope you are ready.

Wicked Wasp Week #12. Think you are save in National Parks? No way. This brooding wasp come from Cape Cod National Seashore where it plots attacks on … grubs.

Wicked Wasp Week #10. Slowly it reaches over your bed, blood dripping from its teeth (technically: mandibles)… you, frozen in place, scream silently as the hot minty breath of the the world’s largest spider wasp wakens you from your dream of becoming a phlebotomist to the stars!!!!!!!!!!!

Wicked Wasp Week #9.  Red as the devil, fame and fortune are nothing to this wasp, its sole mission is to hunt soft bodied creatures, pulp them, and feed them to it young.  Leave you babies inside!  Polistes metricus, female, Beltsville, Maryland

Wicked Wasp Week #8.  

Looking unsettled, slightly sprung in the mind, angry at the world and ready to raid a nearby village…Polistes exclamans, female, Beltsville, Maryland, Head.  A social wasp queen from early spring 2013.