London (change)
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23/07/2013 at 21:53


As said above could someone help me identify this bug?  I seem to think it is some kind of bee.  It was about 2 inches long.  Here are the pics

 I have never seen anything like it before

23/07/2013 at 22:13

Bit blurred but that looks like a hornet. They attack bees in their hives but a solitary one will get smothered very quickly by the bees, many of which will die in the process. The bees create a temperature the hornet cannot survive in but having found a bees hive, if it escapes will bring all its relatives along which the bees can't fight against.

23/07/2013 at 22:25

Are you good at stripy insects John. Can you do this one?

I can't find anything quite like it in my book


23/07/2013 at 22:28

Only a guess but could it be a type of parasitic wasp?

23/07/2013 at 22:31

Thanks John. Sorry about the pics, it was flapping around at the time and I was probably a bit shaky as it was big

I had a scout around on the net, thinking it was a hornet, but I am sure it isn't I looked at the different types of hornets and wasps and none of them came close, this had an all black face, furry body, the yellow parts you see near the head was like a yellow fur, wasps and hornets from my recollection are "smooth bodied".

Also at its widest part (excluding wings) it was about 1 inch, it was also acting very dazed and looked like its wings couldn't keep it weight in the air, I took it off of the compost bin and put it in the hedge (the compost bin does have what I think a solitary bee going in and out) 

23/07/2013 at 22:40

thanks teen.

This was definitely not a wasp, I think it had to be seen to be believed, it was a giant.  I am not frightened of bees (I am of wasps - because of their relentless sting) I got up close because of it being similar to a bee but when I realised how big it was i was frightened

23/07/2013 at 22:44

Did you happen to notice if it had 2 wings flapping or 4?  I know, I know...

23/07/2013 at 22:57

waterbutts - I really cant remember for definite but am sure there were 4. What are your thoughts?

23/07/2013 at 23:01

If it had 4 then it's not a fly. So now we only have to trawl through a few thousand bees, wasps and hornets...

23/07/2013 at 23:22

I didnt realise how many types of bees etc there are, after reading about bees, wasps etc tonight, I think that this bee could have been a parasitic bee of the bombus genus. I would really love to know though

23/07/2013 at 23:28

Looks like a right beast what ever it is. though it does look hornet like with that "hour glass" figure.

23/07/2013 at 23:44

Nutcutlet, Could it be a queen wasp.  I have seen hornets in the past and they didn't look like that, I don't think.

As to the top pictures, are you sure it was 2 inches long, that is mighty!

24/07/2013 at 00:30

MDW It looks like the European wool carder bee Anthidium manicatum to me.

24/07/2013 at 06:39

Too big and not furry enough for a wool carder bee as far as I can see.  Also not furry enough and markings are wrong for a British native hornet, even a queen.

I suggest you contact the Natural History Museum, emailing them your picture - they will have an idea I'm sure, even from a blurry photo, 

24/07/2013 at 08:17

We are assuming that you live in Britain, mdw84: you aren't going to tell us that you are in Guatemala or the Congo, are you?

24/07/2013 at 08:51

mdw84 - sorry, I can't place your bug.

nutcutlet - maybe yours is a sawfly -

It is using Batesian mimicry to deter predators.

24/07/2013 at 09:58

Peter, I had wondered about a sawfly. The body shape is all wrong for the wasp family (no waist) but nothing quite like that one in my book.

24/07/2013 at 09:59

I've had a good look at that Peter and I think you're right, . Thanks

24/07/2013 at 12:09

nutcutlet, you're welcome

24/07/2013 at 12:44

Hi Nutcutlet,

Have been out all morning & just come in & logged on. I agree it is a sawfly. This is a pic I have just taken off Google images. not my pic: copyright is for 'A Dale' but that detail hasn't shown for some reason.

I had one lay its eggs on one of my gooseberry bushes a few years ago. You wouldn't believe how quickly a batch of sawfly grubs can consume every piece of foliage on a bush.

1 to 20 of 37 messages