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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Fire fighter stump bug

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Question
I am on the CA SCU Morgan fire on Mt. Diablo
In California, alameda/Contra Costa counties.
The stump bugs are aggressive, we are trying to
find the correct name, I found your site and it
Said they are hot tail wasps.  My partners don't
Believe me, can I text you a picture or email you
A picture and get a confirmation?

I've been all over ca and I think these stump
Bugs are dispatched to the fires when the
Fire resources are dispatched!

I can catch a bug and mail it to you.

Answer
Joanne:

You are misspelling the correct name for these wasps:  HORNtail wasps, family Siricidae:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/226

I first want to express my gratitude for your firefighting service, and please forward that message to your colleagues.  I know you are literally putting your life on the line.

That said, I would give almost anything to go in with a videographer and film all the many insects that are found almost exclusively in the wake of forest fires.  I almost NEVER see horntails, but yes, they can be abundant in the wake of fires.  So can several kinds of beetles, and some kinds of flies.  They are all anxious to take advantage of newly-killed trees in which they lay their eggs.

I hope this helps; and I wonder how a civilian would get permission to go in immediately after a fire.  We have plenty of fires here in Colorado, too, but I have no idea how to get permission to enter an area otherwise closed to the public.  Thank you.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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