Wasp Or Bee?

The other weekend I ventured into the garden with my trusty camera on the look-out for something new after being away for work. Now, if I look really hard I generally find something I haven't seen before - oh okay, maybe others have ... but again, new to me.

Well, I wasn't disappointed.

I stumbled across this bee/wasp. I realise it's got wasp colouration, but it didn't have wasp mannerisms - at least not of the type I am used too. And these ladies were BIG!. Around 25-35mm in length would be my guess. I understand that this may seem small - but remember size is relative, much like time.

Especially when you consider that the average 'German' wasp, [Vespula germanica] at only around 13mm T.L, manages to create panic at picnics and outdoor gatherings the world over ... now picture some wasps almost four times their size slipping in to share a pint and burnt sausage ... you get my point.

Scoliidae sp

Anyway, it gets weirder, at least in my head [where everything gets weirder I'm afraid]. I started to question if these insects were bees or wasps at all. But perhaps fly's, mimicking their more tooled up cousins ... They were definitely after nectar, and as you can see in the pics the wings fold over the top of the abdomen, but not neatly. What you can't see is the lack of mandibles ... at least that's my memory - and I could have this completely wrong.

So you know, if it's got contrasting stripes or is the colour of Charlie Sheen's vomit ... don't touch.

Like the Weevil [and countless other beasties I find], I'll let you know what it is when I do ...

Till then, take care :)

Huge thanks to Snail from A Snails Eye View and David of Bunyico for the help with the identification in the comments below - much appreciated.

If you haven't read the comments, please do - it'll save me cutting and pasting lol - the whole point of this blog is to share and garner knowledge - reduce 'hysteria' and instil wonder - even if just a little. I truly am grateful to those who do so, so freely through their comments on this blog and their posts on their own ... it's awesome.


  1. We need an entomologist! I wonder if it's one of the hairy flower wasps (Scoliidae)? Or, indeed, something completely different. There you go --- I've narrowed down the choices.

  2. lol, yeah - where do ya reckon we might find one of those round here??? ... You're right, it is a wasp, but a damned fine one don't you think? The best part is that I'd never seen one before - so a new 'spot', to borrow some twitcher parlance ...

    Cheers for the comment Snail - take care :)

  3. Magnificent insect + excellent photos! Wasps, bees, sawflies...they're all wonderful critters.

  4. Thanks Snail for such lovely comments - made my day.

  5. Crash and all:

    It's a scoliid wasp. These wasps are parasites of scarab beetle larvae. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoliidae.
    Great shots! You are getting better all the time.

  6. Thanks D - always grateful for your input - cheers muchly


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