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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It’s always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Hymenoptera: the bees, wasps, hornets and ants — Examples

Families represented below:
Andrenidae (the mining bees)
Apidae (the honey bee, bumble bee and many other bees)
Braconidae (the braconid wasps)
Cimbicidae (the cimbicid sawflies)
Chrysididae (the cuckoo wasps)
Crabronidae (the crabronid wasps, including the mud daubers and sand wasps)
Formicidae (the ants)
Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps)
Pelecinidae (the pelecinid wasps)
Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps)
Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps, including the digger wasps)
Thynnidae (the thynnid wasps)
Tiphiidae (the tiphiid wasps)
Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others)



Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps)

Ichneumon wasp
Ichneumon Wasp, female, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ This is a female — see the next photo to see the egg-laying structure (the ovipositor). This specimen was found in a wooded area by a marsh/pond.
Photographed by: Jo-Ella Mullins. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fremont, Michigan, USA. Date: 10 July, 2016. JoElla says, “Came face to face with this creature while picking wild blackberries on our property. I wanted the berries so I just waited to see what she was going to do.”
Ichneumon wasp
Ichneumon Wasp, female, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ In this photo, you can see the long ovipositor that she uses to lay her eggs. The ovipositor is the thin black line — the “tail” — that extends down and to the right of the insect.
Photographed by: Jo-Ella Mullins. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fremont, Michigan, USA. Date: 10 July, 2016. JoElla adds, “I swear it seemed to stare me down before flying away. She was very intimidating eye to eye!”
Ichneumon wasp
Ichneumon Wasp, female, possibly Odontocolon ochropus, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ The ovipositor is comprised of three filaments: the middle filament for drilling into wood and laying eggs; and the other two to protect that central egg-laying filament. The central filament is slightly thickened toward the end, as seen here.
Photographed and identified as an ichneumon wasp by: M. Popitz, M.D. Location: Marion, Massachusetts, USA. Date: 22 October, 2016. Dr. Popitz says, “The wasp is approximately 1-1.2 cm.”
Ichenumon Wasp (Megarhyssa spp.)
Ichneumon Wasp, genus Megarhyssa, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ A nice photo that shows the full length of the ovipositor on this female Ichneumon Wasp.
Photographed by: Kathy Anderson. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: northeastern Wisconsin, USA. Date: 4 September, 2017. Kathy says, “Insect photographed on window .... With tail, approximately 6 inches long.”
Ichenumon Wasp
Ichneumon Wasp, male, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps), likely in either the subfamily Ophioninae or Tryphonidae (maybe the genus Netelia.
Photographed by: Lenny Knott. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA. Date: 28 August, 2017.
Ichneumon wasp
Ichneumon wasp, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 31 October, 2017.
Yellow Ichenumon Wasp (Xanthopimpla punctata)
Yellow Ichneumon Wasp, female, Xanthopimpla punctata, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ This wasp is actually beneficial, because the females lays her eggs in other insects, notably some agricultural pests. The eggs hatch, and the larvae then feast on the pests as they grow.
Photographed and identified to order by: Meem Sarkar. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Siliguri, West Bengal, India. Date: 15 October, 2017. Meem describes this wasp as “a magnificent insect, although deadly by its appearance.”
Yellow Ichenumon Wasp (Xanthopimpla punctata)
Yellow Ichneumon Wasp, female, Xanthopimpla punctata, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ The scientific name of this species includes “xantho,” which means yellow in Greek. As noted in other photos of ichneumon wasps, the large “stinger” is actually an egg-laying structure called an ovipositor. This wasp is beneficial, because the females lays her eggs in other insects, notably some agricultural pests. The eggs hatch, and the larvae then feast on the pests as they grow.
Photographed and identified to order by: Meem Sarkar. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Siliguri, West Bengal, India. Date: 15 October, 2017.
Ichenumon Wasp (Vulgichneumon brevicinctor)
Ichneumon Wasp, Vulgichneumon brevicinctor, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ The photographer provided an excellent description of this wasp: “About 1/2-inch-long black body with a prominent yellow/whitish dot on back and on tip of its abdomen; a short similarly coloured stripe mid-antennae; and a dot on bottom of back legs where they attach to the body.”
Photographed and identified as a wasp by: Kv Zichi. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Port Hope, Michigan, USA. Date: 20 October, 2017. Kv adds, “Quite pretty actually!”
Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus)
Giant Ichneumon Wasp, female, Megarhyssa macrurus, family Ichneumonidae (the ichneumon wasps).
□ The Giant Ichneumon Wasp has a body that is about 2 inches (5 cm) long, not counting her ovipositor (the “tail”). She uses the long, thin ovipositor (shown in the photo at left) to poke into dead wood and lay her eggs on the larvae of horntails (also known as wood wasps), which live in dead wood. The eggs of the Giant Ichneumon Wasp hatch and dine on the horntail larvae. The horntail larvae die, and the Giant Ichneumon Wasp young go through metamorphosis, first into pupae and then into adults. The close-up of just her body (at right) shows the pretty chevron pattern on her abdomen.
Photographed by: Laurie Stenwall. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Date: 9 April, 2018. Laurie says, “It was HUGE. I would estimate the body was about 2 inches, but overall more like 5 or 6 inches.”
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Pelecinidae (pelecinid wasps)
Tiphiidae (tiphiid wasps), including Thynninae/Thynnidae

Pelecinus polyturator
Pelecinid Wasp, female, Pelecinus polyturator, family Pelecinidae (the pelecinid wasps).
□ It is a special pleasure to have the photo of this wasp because it one of only three species in this family, and this particular species is the only member of the family to live in the United States. This is a female, as seen by her long, six-segmented abdomen (males have a shorter abdomen that has a club-shaped end.) The female uses her long abdomen to poke through the soil and find a suitable host — often a beetle grub — for her young. She lays an egg on the host, and a larva hatches out and bores into the grub, which serves as the larva’s food source. This does kill the grub, but it is part of the wasp’s life cycle.
Photographed by: Lori Kvittem. Identified by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Thank you, Dr. Kimsey! Location: Coon Rapids, Minnesota, USA. Date: 22 July, 2016. Lori also photographed it next to a penny to show size. From the tip of the head to the end of the abdomen, it is estimated about about 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) long.
Tiphiid wasp
Tiphiid Wasp, female, in the genus Myzinum, family Tiphiidae (the tiphiid wasps), subfamily Myzininae.
□ Note: The Tiphiidae family of wasps is sometimes separated into two families: Tiphiidae and Thynnidae. Under this arrangement, which is not accepted by all hymenopterists, Myzinum is part of the Thynnidae family.
Photographed by: Dawn Scarmeas. Identified by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Thank you, Dr. Kimsey! Location: Thomas Township, near the Saginaw River, Michigan, USA. Date: 3 September, 2016. Dawn says, “Saved him in the pool.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Your’re a hero, Dawn!”

Braconidae (the braconid wasps)

Braconid wasp
Braconid wasp larva, genus Meteorus, family Braconidae (the braconid wasps).
□ The Meteorus wasp is a parasitoid, meaning that the female lays her eggs in a host animal, in this case a moth caterpillar. The eggs hatch into larvae and feast on the host’s innards, eventually killing it. When they get big enough, they emerge from the dead (or close-to-dead) host. This series of photos shows a larva emerging. To see the emergence in a cool video, take a look at this video that photographer Thomas Langhans put together. Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Identified to genus by: entomologist Michael Sharkey, Ph.D., University of Kentucky. Thank you, Drs. Kimsey and Sharkey! Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 27 October, 2017.
Braconid wasp
Braconid wasp, genus Meteorus, family Braconidae (the braconid wasps).
□ The larvae that emerge from the caterpillar in the previous photo quickly become pupae. This photo shows lots of pupae (the ones wrapped in silky cocoons) and a few larvae (shinier and without cocoons).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Identified to genus by: entomologist Michael Sharkey, Ph.D., University of Kentucky. Thank you, Drs. Kimsey and Sharkey! See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 27 October, 2017.
Braconid wasp
Braconid wasp, genus Meteorus, family Braconidae (the braconid wasps).
□ These are empty pupae — the adults have already emerged. Notice the “exit caps” lying next to the pupae.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Identified to genus by: entomologist Michael Sharkey, Ph.D., University of Kentucky. Thank you, Drs. Kimsey and Sharkey! See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 November, 2017.
Braconid wasp
Braconid wasp, genus Meteorus, family Braconidae (the braconid wasps).
□ This is the adult wasp Meteorus that emerged from the pupae. It is a bottom view.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Identified to genus by: entomologist Michael Sharkey, Ph.D., University of Kentucky. Thank you, Drs. Kimsey and Sharkey! See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 November, 2017.
Braconid wasp
Braconid wasp, genus Meteorus, family Braconidae (the braconid wasps).
□ This is a top view of the Meteorus wasp from the previous photo.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Identified to genus by: entomologist Michael Sharkey, Ph.D., University of Kentucky. Thank you, Drs. Kimsey and Sharkey! See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 November, 2017.

Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps)

Horntail
Pigeon Horntail, female, Tremex columba, family Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps).
Photographed by: Dawn Scarmeas. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Near the Tittabawassee River in Saginaw County, Michigan. Date: 22 July, 2016. Dawn says, “Found it in my pool. I have never seen one before.”
Pigeon horntail
Pigeon Horntail, female, Tremex columba, family Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps).
□ The long, spear-shaped “stinger” is the ovipositor (egg-laying structure).
Photographed by: Nelson Amaral. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Date: 8 August, 2014.
Giant wood wasp (<i>Urocerus gigas</i>
Giant Wood Wasp, also known as a Giant Horntail or a Greater Horntail, Urocerus gigas, family Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps).
Photographed by: Neil Marriott. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nottingham, UK. Date: 19 July, 2016.
Horntail
Pigeon Horntail, female, Tremex columba, family Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps).
Photographed by: Aaron Fortin. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shelby Township, Macomb County, Michigan. Date: 7 October, 2017.
Horntail
Pigeon Horntail, female, Tremex columba, family Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps).
Photographed by: Aaron Fortin. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shelby Township, Macomb County, Michigan. Date: 7 October, 2017.
Siricid Wasp
Horntail, possibly Urocerus albicornis (no common name), family Siricidae (the horntails or wood wasps).
□ Horntails are sometimes called Wood Wasps, because the females lay their eggs on trees, and the larvae chew into and tunnel through wood.
Photographed by: Kristen Webster. Identified to family by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Identified to possible species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Date: 22 July, 2016. Kristen says, “It’s on a small play climber. I’d say a good inch in length.”

Crabronidae (the the crabronid wasps, including the mud daubers and sand wasps)

Digger wasp
Eastern Cicada Killer (aka ground digger wasp), Sphecius speciosus, family Crabronidae (the crabronid wasps, including the mud daubers and sand wasps).
□ Cicada Killers will dig into the ground, as shown here, so they are often known as ground digger wasps.
Photographed and identified by: Daniel Cardella. Location: Warren, Michigan, USA. Date: 13 August, 2014. Daniel says, “Wasp dug for 2 days, then never came back. It was over 2" long and had a pile of dirt 6" high & 10" dia. - amazing to watch.”
Digger wasp
Eastern Cicada Killer (aka ground digger wasp), Sphecius speciosus, family Crabronidae (the crabronid wasps, including the mud daubers and sand wasps).
□ Cicada Killers are sometimes called Cicada Hawks or Sand Hornets, but they are indeed wasps. Cicada Killers can get quite large, growing to 2 inches long!
Photographed and identified by: Daniel Cardella. Location: Warren, Michigan, USA. Date: 13 August, 2014.
Cicada Killer
Eastern Cicada Killer (aka ground digger wasp), Sphecius speciosus, family Crabronidae (the crabronid wasps, including the mud daubers and sand wasps).
□ Cicada Killers are wasps that do indeed kill cicadas. A female Cicada Killer will sting and paralyze the cicada, tote it to her burrow, and lay an egg under its leg. The egg hatches into a larva that begins to eat the cicada, which remains alive, and continues to gnaw on the cicada until it pupates.
Photographed by: Richard Lewenson. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, USA. Date: 6 August, 2017. Richard says, “It seems to have built a hive in the ground.”

Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others)

Yellowjacket
Yellowjacket, in the genus Dolichovespula, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 28 May, 2012.
Hornet nest
Hornet nest, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
Photographed by: Shelli St. Clair. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Sterling, Alaska, USA. Date: 14 July, 2016. Shelli says, “I've never seen this kind of nest!”
European Hornet (Vespa crabro)
European Hornet, Vespa crabro, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ This hornet’s head is brown and yellow with dark outlines showing the boundaries between the hardened “plates” of the head. The boundaries are called sutures and the plates are called sclerites.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, USA. Date: 22 September, 2012.
European Hornet (Vespa crabro)
European Hornet, Vespa crabro, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ This is a different view of the European Hornet in the previous photo — this large hornet is quite attractive from above and below! For more information on this hornet, which can become aggressive, click here.
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Pasadena, Maryland, USA. Date: 9 September, 2017.
European Hornet (Vespa crabro)
European Hornet, Vespa crabro, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ Native to Europe as well as Asia, the European Hornet came into the United States more than 150 years ago and is now well-established in the eastern half of the United States (where this photo was taken).
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Pasadena, Maryland, USA. Date: 9 September, 2017. Carlo says, “He was walking down the dock, then he settled onto a piece of line where I was able to get my close-up some of him.”
European Hornet (Vespa crabro)
European Hornet, Vespa crabro, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ Such distinctive markings on its abdomen!
Photographed by: Dawn Knott. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: the community of California, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, USA. Date: 16 September, 2017. Dawn says, “It only shows up at the sliding glass door at night, by itself. It is large, at least 1 1/4 inch.”
European Hornet (Vespa crabro)
European Hornet, Vespa crabro, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ This photo shows the brown “shoulders” common to European Hornets.
Photographed and identified by: Carlo Castoro. Location: Pasadena, Maryland, USA. Date: 12 September, 2017.
European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)
European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 21 September, 2017. Leslie says, “The two commas and other yellow lines look almost as if they were painted on.”
European paper wasp
European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
Photographed and identified by: Gene Fleszar. Location: Northville, Michigan, USA. Date: September 2013.
Paper Wasp (Polistes spp.)
Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes, possibly Polistes bellicosus, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ Several species in this genus look quite similar. It typically takes an expert to view all angles of the actual specimen (rather than photos) to tell one species from another. Polistes bellicosus is common in Florida, where these photos were taken.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 14 December, 2017.
Paper wasp (Polistes)
Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, U.S. Date: 12 December, 2017.
Paper wasp (Polistes)
Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, U.S. Date: 12 December, 2017.
European wasp (Vespula)
Common Wasp in the genus Vespula, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ Two members of this genus look very similar: Vespula vulgaris and Vespula germanica. To see the variation in wasp patterning, click here. A key distinguishing feature is the presence of at least two (usually three) separate black dots on the wasp’s “face” (or clypeus): Vespula germanica has them; Vespula vulgaris usually doesn’t.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, Devon, England, UK. Date: 16 November, 2017. Bryan says, “A lone being in our garden, just being curious!”
Southern yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa)
Southern Yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ The Southern Yellowjacket has a thick, yellow, broken circle running around the outside of the thorax with two parallel yellow lines and two large yellow spots inside. To learn more about this hornet (and several others), click here.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 12 December, 2017. Sheldon says it is tiny, about a half-inch (1.3 cm) long.
Western Yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica)
Western Yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ One of the features of this Western Yellowjacket is the yellow ring that completely encircles each eye, as if the yellowjacket is wearing a pair of yellow goggles.
Photographed and identified to family by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 18 December, 2016.
Western Yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica)
Western Yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ The Western Yellowjacket nests on the ground and it defends that nest quite aggressively. Like other members of this family, each is capable of stinging multiple times, so it is best not to disturb this species.
Photographed and identified to family by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 18 December, 2016.
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Mason wasp (Ancistrocerus)
Potter Wasp in the genus Ancistrocerus, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ Note the “face” pattern of markings on its thorax — two horizontal slashes of yellow for eyes, and a longer horizontal slash for the mouth, as well as the black, sideways “H” on the abdomen.
Photographed and identified as a wasp by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas's full-size photos here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 December, 2016. Thomas says, “If I remember right, these wasps did a lot of flying around but never landed for very long.”
Four-Toothed Mason Wasp (Monobia quadridens)
Four-Toothed Mason Wasp, Monobia quadridenss, family Vespidae (the vespid wasps, including the yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps, and others).
□ The Four-Toothed Mason Wasp has one wide, light-yellow or ivory band on an otherwise black abdomen. They are solitary wasps and are sometimes seen exiting or entering small holes in a roof eave — that’s where they have their nests.
Photographed by: Erica M. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA. Date: 26 May, 2018.

Cimbicidae (the cimbicid sawflies)

Elm sawfly (Cimbex americana)
Elm sawfly, female, (Cimbex americana), family Cimbicidae (the cimbicid sawflies).
□ In this species, the male looks different: He has a reddish-brown abdomen and a noticeable ivory-colored spot.
Photographed by: Neil Boyle. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Date: July, 2017. Neil reports that it was 3 cm long (more than an inch!).
Elm sawfly (Cimbex americana)
Elm sawfly, female, (Cimbex americana), family Cimbicidae (the cimbicid sawflies).
□ Take a look at her impressive jaws!
Photographed by: Neil Boyle. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Date: July, 2017. Neil reports that it was 3 cm long (more than an inch!).
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Andrenidae (the mining bees)

Mining bee
Mining Bee, genus Andrena, family Andrenidae (the mining bees).
□ This mining bee is on back of a Common Eastern Bumble Bee queen (Bombus impatiens).
Photographed by: Jackie Lucier. Identified by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Thank you, Dr. Kimsey! Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 8 April, 2005. Jackie says, “Very territorial, these males harass all the bees visiting low-growing flowers in the spring.” And the males usually emerge from hibernation three days before the females and scent-mark all the flowers, which attracts the females.
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Chrysididae (the cuckoo wasps)

Cuckoo Wasp
Cuckoo Wasp, likely Chrysis angolensis, family Chrysididae (the cuckoo wasps).
□ They’re called cuckoo wasps because they do the same thing cuckoo birds do — they lay their eggs in someone else’s nest and let those parents care for them. If you look very closely, you can see that this Cuckoo Wasp has a handsome navy blue tip on the end of its abdomen.
Photographed and identified as a cuckoo wasp by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: entomologist Lynn Kimsey, University of California-Davis. Thank you, Dr. Kimsey! Location: Maryland, USA. Date: 29 August, 2017.
Cuckoo Wasp
Cuckoo Wasp, family Chrysididae (the cuckoo wasps).
□ This wasp may be only a half-inch long (less than 15 mm), but the green and blue metallic color make it one to remember. These wasps are sometimes called emerald wasps because of their brilliant color.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, Michigan, USA. Date: 5 July, 2017.
Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae)
Large Cuckoo Wasp, Stilbum cyanurum, family Chrysididae (the cuckoo wasps).
□ Identifier Audrey Maran determined this to be a cuckoo wasp based on “the coloration, antennal segments, pronotum shape, and ability to curl into a ball.” Nice job, Audrey!
Photographed by: K J Westman. Identified to family by: Audrey Maran. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nitulemada, Digana, Rajawella, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Date: 17 February, 2018.

Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps, including the digger wasps)

Great black wasp
Great Black Wasp, Sphex pensylvanica, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps, including the digger wasps).
Photographed by: Paula Lomasney. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Northern Saratoga County, New York, USA. Date: 13 July, 2015. Paula says they were “burrowing like mad in the sand of the window wells that surround the basement windows (on the outside).”
Digger wasp
Great Black Wasp, Sphex pensylvanica, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ Female Great Black Wasps will sting and paralyze katydids and bring them to their nests to feed their larvae.
Photographed by: Paula Lomasney. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Northern Saratoga County, New York, USA. Date: 13 July, 2015. Paula described this insect as “at least 1–1.25 inches.”
Great golden digger wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus
Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ Look closely: The abdomen is black at the rear end and the rest is same beautiful orange as the legs.
Photographed and identified by: Tim Spohn. Location: Mexico (near the eastern shore of Lake Ontario), New York, USA. Date: 14 August, 2017.
Great golden digger wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus
Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ Here is the Great Golden Digger Wasp with the hole it has dug.
Photographed and identified by: Tim Spohn. Location: Mexico (near the eastern shore of Lake Ontario), New York, USA. Date: 14 August, 2017.
Add your photo here! Black and Yellow Mud Dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, nest, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ This large mud nest is made by one adult female Mud Dauber. This species is known as a solitary wasp because it does not live in hives. See the larvae in the next photo.
Photographed and identified as a mud wasp by: Carlo Castoro. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Maryland, USA. Date: 27 August, 2017. Carlo says, “Took this down from inside a boat.”
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, larvae, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ Within the Mud Dauber’s nest are a series of chambers, each of which contains a larva. The photographer has broken off a piece of the nest to show two, large, dark-brown larvae in adjacent chambers. Find out what the larvae eat in the next photo.
Photographed and identified as a mud wasp by: Carlo Castoro. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Maryland, USA. Date: 27 August, 2017.
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, larvae, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ The photographer found these spiders inside the larval chambers (see previous photos). The adult female will sting, paralyze and lay an egg on a spider, and slide it into the chamber. She will then sting, paralyze and stuff additional spiders into the chamber. These paralyzed spiders provide food for the larvae once they hatch. For more information on this cool wasp, click here.
Photographed and identified as a mud wasp by: Carlo Castoro. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Maryland, USA. Date: 27 August, 2017. Carlo says, “There are numerous comatose spiders, I guess food for the larvae.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “You guessed exactly right!”
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, nest, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ This adult was flying near the nest. A single adult female builds and guards the nest. The adult males do not engage with the females except to mate. Otherwise, the males buzz around flowers, feeding on their nectar.
Photographed and identified as a mud wasp by: Carlo Castoro. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Maryland, USA. Date: 27 August, 2017. KnowYourInsects.org says, “Great job phootgraphing the nest, larvae, prey and the adult Mud Dauber, Carlo!”
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ This beautiful close-up shows the characteristic stripe pattern of this species: one at the front of the thorax, a double stripe at the rear of hte thorax, and a stripe at the front of the abdomen.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 29 August, 2017.
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ This is the Black and Yellow Mud Dauber in flight. Note the ultra-thin “wasp waist”, a thin structure called a petiole (or pedicel) that connects the thorax with the abdomen. In the Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, the petiole is usually black in northern areas, but often yellow in southern locations.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 29 August, 2017.
 Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp (Sceliphron caementarium)
Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp, Sceliphron caementarium, family Sphecidae (the thread-waisted wasps).
□ The Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Wasp sometimes goes by the name of Black-Waisted Mud Dauber. There is some variability in the stripe pattern, as well as the color of the stripe at the front of the abdomen (it may be orange as shown here, or yellow).
Photographed and identified by: by Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 11 April, 2018.

Apidae (the honey bee, bumble bee and many other bees)

Green lynx spider and honey bee
Honey Bee, Apis spp., family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees), shown as dinner for a green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans.
Photographed by: Theresa Goff. Bumble bee identified by: Theresa Goff. Spider identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Clark Gardens Botanical Park, Weatherford (Parker County), Texas, USA. Date: 4 September, 2016. Theresa reports that this spider was dining on a bumble bee one day, and this honey bee the next. She says, “The bumble bee carcass was on the ground. I checked back a few hours later and it had another bee. The first bee carcass was on the ground next to the bumble bee and the ants were enjoying both.”
Honey bee
Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Jackie took this photo in a 35-acre area of of wet hickory/oak forest. It is one of numerous photos that were part of documentation of flora and fauna of the forest, with vernal pools and swampy areas, plus a sandy, dry meadow next door. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 9 October, 2013. Jackie says, “We also did native plantings in our yard. It was paradise!”
Honey bee
Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 7 July, 2013.
Honey bee
Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 1 May, 2017.
Honey bee
Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ This close-up of a photo by Sheldon Boyd really shows the hairy eyes of the Honey Bee!
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 1 May, 2017.
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Honey bee
Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ This Honey Bee is coming in to gather up nectar and pollen, which it will transport back to the hive. The nectar will eventually become honey, which provides the bees with energy. The pollen is the primary source of protein for the hive and is important for development of the young (the brood).
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 12 December, 2017.
Honey bee
Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Honey Bees drink the nectar, and transport the pollen via a structure called a pollen basket (or corbicula), which is evident in the large orange-yellow clump on this bee’s hind leg.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 12 December, 2017.
Melissodes
Long-Horned Bee, male, genus Melissodes, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ The long antennae (the “horns”) are characteristic of this group of bees. The male of the genus Melissodes, as shown here, has a longer body and longer antennae than the female.
Photographed by: Linda Crowley. Identified by: Dr. Rufus Isaacs, an entomologist at Michigan State University. Location: western Lower Peninsula, near Ludington, Michigan, USA. Date: 16 July, 2017. Linda says, “I have recently seen a large numbers of these ... six or eight would crowd on a black-eyed Susan or shasta daisy.”
Cuckoo bee
Cuckoo Bee (male), Epeolus scutellaris, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Photographed on black-eyed susan.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 21 August, 2009.
Cuckoo bee
Cuckoo Bee (female), Epeolus autumnalis, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Photographed on New England aster. This and other species of cuckoo bees have a behavior like that of cuckoo birds: The females lay their eggs in other bees’ nests, and let the other species do the work of parenting!
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 2 October, 2014.
Cuckoo bee
Cuckoo Bee (female), Epeolus bifasciatus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Photographed on Virginia mountain mint. Several species are known as cuckoo bees, several of which are shown on this webpage.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 31 July, 2014.
Cuckoo bee
Cuckoo Bee (female), Epeolus canadensis, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Photographed on Culver’s root.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 31 July, 2013.
Cuckoo bee
Cuckoo Bee (male), Epeolus lectoides, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Photographed on a gorgeous orange backdrop of butterflyweed.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 13 July, 2014.
Bumble bee (<i>Bombus auricomus</i>
Black-and-Gold Bumble Bee, Bombus auricomus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. This is a male. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 2 September, 2012.
Bumble bee (<i>Bombus auricomus</i>
Black-and-Gold Bumble Bee, Bombus auricomus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. This is a worker. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 8 July, 2009.
Two-spotted bumble bee (<i>Bombus bimaculatus</i>
Two-Spotted Bumble Bee, male, Bombus bimaculatus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ This male is on a plant called a false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario, Canada. Date: 8 July, 2009. Jackie says, “This rare plant is a magnet for many insects, including moths.”
Two-spotted bumble bee (<i>Bombus bimaculatus</i>
Two-Spotted Bumble Bee, Bombus bimaculatus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Those two spots are really obvious in this photo. Great shot, Jackie!
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. This is a worker. It is flying into some lupines that are just opening. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 8 July, 2009.
Northern amber bumble bee (<i>Bombus borealis</i>
Northern Amber Bumble Bee, queen, Bombus borealis, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ This queen is on a wildflower known as either a fringed polygala or by the cheery name of gaywings (Polygala paucifolia).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Bruce Peninsula National Park, Tobermory, Ontario, Canada. Date: 28 May, 2012.
Lemon cuckoo bumble bee (<i>Bombus citrinus</i>
Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee, Bombus citrinus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 21 June, 2014. Jackie says this is a female, photographed on a sumac flower.
Golden northern bumble bee (<i>Bombus fervidus</i>
Golden Northern Bumble bee, Bombus fervidus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Sometimes this species is also known by the simple common name of “yellow bumble bee.&rdquo.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 30 May, 2008. Jackie says this is a queen, photographed on lupine.
Golden northern bumble bee (<i>Bombus fervidus</i>
Golden Northern Bumble bee, male, Bombus fervidus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Notice the characteristic series of five yellow stripes on the abdomen of this male.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 24 August, 2009. Jackie says this is a male, photographed on obedient plant (also known as false dragonhead).
Brown-belted bumble bee (<i>Bombus griseocollis</i>)
Brown-Belted Bumble Bee, Bombus griseocollis, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ The top photo is a queen; the bottom is a worker.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 30 May, 2006 (queen), 23 July, 2009 (worker).
Common eastern bumble bee (<i>Bombus griseocollis</i>)
Common Eastern Bumble Bee, queen, Bombus impatiens, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ This queen is on a globeflower.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 29 March, 2005.
Common eastern bumble bee (<i>Bombus griseocollis</i>)
Common Eastern Bumble Bee, male, Bombus impatiens, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 15 March, 2012. Jackie says, “Sometimes, after a mild winter, males will survive and emerge the following spring, to live only a few days.” And males typically have a yellow mustache, as seen in this photo.
Nevada bumble bee (<i>Bombus nevadensis</i>)
Nevada Bumble Bee, queen, Bombus nevadensis, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Celiska, British Columbia, Canada. Date: 24 June, 2010. KnowYourInsects.org says, “Jackie rocks when it comes to bumblebee identification!”
American bumble bee (<i>Bombus pensylvanicus</i>)
American Bumble Bee, queen, sometimes called a Sonoran Bumble Bee, Bombus pensylvanicus, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Pictured on the orange center of a purple coneflower.
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 15 June, 2006. Jackie says, “Never saw one again!”
Orange-belted bumble bee (<i>Bombus ternarius</i>)
Orange-Belted Bumble Bee, queen, sometimes called a Tricolored Bumble Bee, Bombus ternarius, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ This queen has a conspicuous orange “belt”. It is sitting on coltsfoot (named for the shape of its leaves, which resemble the imprint of a horse hoof).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: St. Ann’s Bay, Bird Islands, Nova Scotia, Canada. Date: 9 June, 20011.
Orange-belted bumble bee (Bombus ternarius)
Orange-Belted Bumble Bee, sometimes called a Tricolored Bumble Bee, Bombus ternarius, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ The beautiful orange belt makes this bumble bee really stand out!
Photographed and identified by: Bill Flor. Location: Los Alamos County (7,500 ft.), New Mexico, USA. Date: 30 August, 2015. Bill says, “Lavender starting to show the wear and tear of the summer.”
Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee
Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ The Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee not only has a yellow face (as shown in the left photo), but also has a narrow yellow band around its abdomen (as shown in the right photo). This attractive bumble bee is common along the West Coast of the United States.
Photographed and identified as a bumble bee by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size images here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 28 December, 2017.
Bumblebee
Bumble Bee, Bombus spp., family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
□ Bumble bee colonies are different from those of honey bees. Honey bee hives survive the winter in the north, whereas all but the queen bumble bee die off. The queen bumble bee hibernates, and in the spring emerges and starts laying eggs. As the eggs hatch into worker bees, the colony begins to build.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 July, 2012.
Half-back bumble bee (<i>Bombus vagans</i>)
Half-Back Bumble Bee, queen, Bombus vagans, family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. Location: Celista, British Columbia, Canada. Date: 24 June, 2010. Jackie says this queen is “sleeping on a leaf.”
Green lynx spider and bumble bee
Bumble Bee, Bombus spp., family Apidae (the honey bee and many other bees) in the clutches of a green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans.
Photographed by: Theresa Goff. Bumble bee identified by: Theresa Goff. Spider identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Clark Gardens Botanical Park, Weatherford (Parker County), Texas, USA. Date: 3 September, 2016.
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Formicidae (the ants)

Allegheny Mound Ant
Allegheny Mound Ant, Formica exsectoides, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ As their name suggests, these ants make large mounded nests. Mounds can be up to 3 feet tall, and are often bare — no plants growing on them at all.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska, Michigan, USA. Date: 31 May 2015. Leslie says she found them on a mound about 18 inches (0.5 m) tall and 3 feet (1 m) around.
Allegheny mound ant
Allegheny Mound Ant, Formica exsectoides, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ Where this ant was photographed, the mound was about 12 inches (30 cm) tall and approximately 24 inches (61 cm) in diameter.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska, Michigan, USA. Date: 31 May 2015.
Ant
Unknown Ant, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ When an ant colony reaches a certain size, unfertilized eggs hatch into winged males. The winged males and one winged virgin queen then wait until weather conditions are perfect, and fly off en masse to start a new colony.
Photographed by: Anonymous. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Los Angeles, California, USA. Date: 26 November 2016.
Arboreal Bicolored Ant, Tetraponera rufonigra
Arboreal Bicolored Ant, Tetraponera rufonigra, family Formicidae (the ants).
Photographed and identified to order and species by: Samrat Kalita. Location: Assam (Rani), India. Date: 13 February 2017. KnowYourInsects says, “Great job with the identification, Samrat!”
Ant
Polyrhachis bicolor (no common name), family Formicidae (the ants).
Photographed and identified to order by: Samrat Kalita. Identified to species by: Himender Bharti. Location: Assam (Rani), India. Date: 13 February 2017.
Ant
Polyrhachis bicolor (no common name), family Formicidae (the ants).
Photographed and identified to order by: Samrat Kalita. Identified to species by: Himender Bharti. Location: Assam (Rani), India. Date: 13 February 2017.
Florida Carpenter Ant, Camponotus floridanus
Florida Carpenter Ant, Camponotus floridanus, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ This is the winged female of this species. Winged females, which can be are known as alates. When a colony gets too large, alates are sent out in swarms to find and start a new colony.
Photographed and identified by: Don Keeton. Location: northern Florida, U.S. Date: 23 July, 2017.
Florida Carpenter Ant, Camponotus floridanus
Florida Carpenter Ant, Camponotus floridanus, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ For additional information about these ants, go to the University of Florida’s website here.
Photographed and identified by: Don Keeton. Location: northern Florida, U.S. Date: 23 July, 2017. Don says, “I live in north Florida and these insects suddenly appeared in large numbers in the house. They are attracted to light.”
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White-Footed Ant (Technomyrmex difficilis)
White-Footed Ant, Technomyrmex difficilis, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ The elbowed antennae are characteristic of ants. And this one (and the next photo) both have white “feet” (tarsi), which is a feature of this species.
Photographed by: Joan Smith. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tampa, Florida, USA. Date: 19 August, 2017.
White-Footed Ant (Technomyrmex difficilis)
White-Footed Ant, Technomyrmex difficilis, family Formicidae (the ants).
□ White-Footed Ants are tiny, only growing to about 1/10 inch (2.5 mm). The elbowed antennae aren’t evident in this photo, as the ant was discovered dead in some water in a bathroom sink.
Photographed by: Joan Smith. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tampa, Florida, USA. Date: 19 August, 2017. Joan used the microscope setting on her camera to get these photographs.
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Unless noted otherwise, photographs on this website are the property of the photographers and may not be reused without written permission from the photographers. To obtain permission, request it here.

Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Reproduction of material from any KnowYourInsects.org webpages without written permission is strictly prohibited.