Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Unknown Insect.

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Question
QUESTION: I opened a box and a 3 plus inch florescent blue winged insect flew out and flew itself into the gap between the roof tile. This was in Fallbrook California What could this be?

ANSWER: Nate:

I can think of several possibilities, most of which are solitary wasps.  You don't mention where the *box* was from, or whether you are talking about something that was in storage, mailed to you, or whatever.  All of those kinds of things matter.

That said, without seeing at least an image of the critter, it is pretty much impossible to make a definitive identification.

There are about 90,000 species of insects in North America alone, so you can imagine how hard it is to narrow the suspect list with such limited information.

Eric

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Eric: I have a Branch 1,2,3 License in Pest Control. Even this critter we have talked about gave me goose bumps. The box came from the East Coast which was a Vox Amplifer that originated from South Korea.

Answer
Nate:

Well, we still don't have an image of the thing (understandably so), but the thing that seems closest to your description is this:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/5530

Not quite three inches, but still a damn big, intimidating wasp.  It could also potentially be this:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/122946

That species is probably confined to southern California desert areas, though.

Those are the only two suspects I can think of off the top of my head.

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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