Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Big wasp/bee


Mystery hymenopteran
Mystery hymenopteran  
Hi, me again

Im afraid the pic is terrible (terrible camera), but you've managed to identify every bug I've sent you so Im hoping u can help me all the same. Its a big black bee or wasp type insect, has two bright orange segments in the middle of its abdomen but they are only visible when the wings are spread.

Dear J - This is a flower wasp (family Scoliidae); it appears to be Campsomeris ephippium, a species found from the southern USA south through Mexico and Central America to northern South America. See http://tinyurl.com/omj6xl4 for an image. The larvae of these wasps feed underground on the larvae (grubs) of scarab beetles, and the wasps themselves are valuable pollinators.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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