Bees, Wasps, Sawflies, & Ants (Hymenoptera)

I have not made much of an effort at understanding the taxonomy of the Hymenoptera or at photographing them up until the latter part of the summer of 2012. My father sent me an article about the decline of a number of bumblebee species and I realized that I only knew about one, the common eastern bumblebee, Bombus impatiens. So now I am trying a bit to learn my bees, starting with putting some order to the photos that I have.

Bees & Wasps

Cynipidae (Gall wasps)

gall wasp gallgalls (Willard's Woods, 9/28/05 3pm)

gall (Willard's Woods, 9/28/05 3pm)

galls (Willard's Woods, 9/28/05 3pm)

Oak apple gall (Lower Vine Brook, 5/26/13 5pm) For a split-second, I thought I had discovered a rare lime oak tree.

galls (Lower Vine Brook, 9/28/13 11am) On oak.

Wooly catkin gall of Callirhytis quercusoperator (Whipple Hill, 5/17/15 1pm)

Figitidae (Cynipoid wasps)

Ibaliidae (Cynipoid wasps)

Trigonalyidae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Proctotrupidae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Pelecinidae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Diapriidae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Heloridae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Vanhorniidae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Roproniidae (Proctotrupoid wasps)

Platygastridae (Platygastrid wasps)

Scelionidae (Platygastrid wasps)

Megaspilidae (Ceraphronoid wasps)

Ceraphronidae (Ceraphronoid wasps)

Stephanidae (Stephanoid wasps)

Evaniidae (Evanioid wasps)

Gasteruptiidae (Evanioid wasps)

Aulacidae (Evanioid wasps)

Bethylidae (Chrysidoid wasps)

Chrysididae (Cuckoo wasps)

(Lexington, 6/22/02 2pm, Lower Vine Brook, 8/27/12 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/13/14 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/14/08 4pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/5/14 12pm, last 2 on 7/9/14 9am)

Dryinidae (Pincher wasps)

Sphecidae (Thread-waisted wasps)

Sphex ichneumoneusSphex ichneumoneus (Great Golden Digger Wasp) (Willard's Woods, 7/25/09 2pm, Lower Vine Brook, 7/7/13 12pm)

(Willard's Woods, 7/27/02 3pm)

Ammophila procera (Thread-waisted wasp) (Whipple Hill, 6/23/13 12pm) She carried her caterpillar underneath her as she ran along the ground, eventually running into underbrush where I couldn't follow her.

Eremnophila aureonotata (Whipple Hill, 8/16/14 11am)

(Whipple Hill, 8/16/14 11am)

Crabronidae (Digger wasps)

Sphecius speciosusfemale male Sphecius speciosus (Eastern Cicada Killer) (Lower Vine Brook, 8/3/08 1pm, 7/9/10 10pm, 7/19/2020 11am, Willard's Woods, 8/10/13 11am)

Philanthus gibbosus (Bee wolf) (Willard's Woods, 7/15/07 2pm, Lower Vine Brook, 8/26/12 2pm, 9/23/12 1pm)

maybe a Bembix sp.? (Willard's Woods, 7/7/13 3pm)

Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus (Sand wasp) (Lower Vine Brook, 9/7/2019 3pm)

Ampulicidae (Cockroach wasps)

Apidae (Honey bees)

Apis melliferaApis mellifera (Honey Bee) (Willards Woods, 7/15/07 2pm, Lower Vine Brook, 8/26/12 2pm, 8/10/14 11am)

Xylocopa virginicafemale male Xylocopa virginica (Common Carpenter Bee) (Willard's Woods, 7/15/07 2pm, Lower Vine Brook, 8/27/12 2pm, 9/24/12 11am) Carpenter bees have an interesting habit. They like the nectar from Evening Primrose, but their tongues must be too short to reach deep enough into the flower. Instead, they crawl over the flower to the stem which generates the flower, pierce it, and suck from there. The male has a white face which is just barely visible in the photos.

(Willard's Woods, 9/24/12 12pm) This is the largest bee I've ever seen. Unfortunately, my camera was low on batteries and started having problems, so I couldn't get many good shots. It was roughly twice the size of a common eastern bumblebee worker and substantially larger than a carpenter bee.

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/12/14 1pm) Probably same as above. A huge bumblebee.

Bumble BeeBombus impatiens (Common Eastern Bumblebee) (Lower Vine Brook, 9/1/12 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/2/12 2pm) This may just be a common bumblebee that was particularly brownish and/or a trick of the light.

Bombus griseocollis (Brown-belted Bumblebee) (Lower Vine Brook, 7/27/13 1pm)

Bombus ternarius (Tri-colored bumblebee) (Lower Vine Brook, 8/23/12 2pm)

female male Bombus perplexus (Confusing bumblebee) (Lower Vine Brook, 7/6/12 1pm, 8/26/12 2pm, 8/27/12 2pm, male Willard's Woods, 7/7/13 3pm)

queen Bombus fervidus (Yellow bumblebee) (Lower Vine Brook, 5/16/2020 3pm) Based on size & date, I think this was a queen.

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 5pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 11am) Black facial hair.

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 5pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/9/15 3pm)

Bombus bimaculatus (Two-spotted bumblebee)

Bombus vacans (Half-black bumblebee)

Bombus sandersoni (Sanderson bumblebee)

Bombus terricola (Yellow-banded bumblebee)

Bombus affinis (Rusty-patched bumblebee)

Bombus rufocinctus (Red-belted bumblebee)

Bombus borealis (Northern amber bumblebee)

Bombus pensylvanicus (American bumblebee)

Bombus auricomus (Black and gold bumblebee)

Bombus citrinus (Lemon cuckoo bumblebee)

Bombus variabilis (Variable cuckoo bumblebee)

Bombus insularis (Indiscriminate cuckoo bumblebee)

Bombus bohemicus (Ashton cuckoo bumblebee)

Bombus suckleyi (Suckley cuckoo bumblebee)

Bombus flavidus (Fernald cuckoo bumblebee)

Nomada sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 10/11/09 12pm)

Polistes sp.Nomada sp. I think the second one is sleeping. It is holding on to the plant with its jaws. (Willard's Woods, 5/17/08 1pm, Lower Vine Brook, 5/16/09 5pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/16/2020 3pm) Probably same as above.

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/2/2020 3pm)

(Whipple Hill, 5/5/13 1pm)

Nomada sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 4/9/11 2pm)

Nomada sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 5/2/2020 3pm)

Nomada sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 5/2/2020 3pm)

Nomada sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 5/16/2020 3pm)

Nomada sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 5/3/2020 2pm)

Megachilidae (Leaf-cutter bees)

Anthidium manicatum (Lower Vine Brook, 6/18/11 11am) It only likes the foxglove in our garden.

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/20/15 12pm)

Megachile sp. (Willards Woods, 7/15/07 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/26/12 2pm)

Halictidae (Sweat bees)

Agapostemon virescensAgapostemon virescens (Virescent green metallic bee) (Lower Vine Brook, 9/21/09 2pm, 7/5/2021 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/24/11 12pm) Same as above?

Augochlora sp.Augochlora sp. (Augochlora green metallic bee) (Willards Woods, 7/5/05 12pm, 9/24/12 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/23/12 1pm, 10/6/12 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/21/2021 12pm)

Sphecodes sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/09 10am, not shown Arlington Great Meadows, 4/24/10)

Colletidae (Plasterer bees)

Andrenidae (Andrenid bees)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/23/12 2pm)

Andrena dunningi? (Dunning's miner bee) (Lower Vine Brook, 5/2/2020 2pm) I have lots of pictures, but all are frustratingly bad.

Melittidae (Melittid bees)

Tiphiidae (Tiphiid wasps)

Scoliidae (Scoliid wasps)

Rhopalosomatidae (Rhopalosomatid wasps)

Sapygidae (Sapygid wasps)

Sierolomorphidae (Sierolomorphid wasps)

Pompilidae (Spider wasps)

Vespidae (Hornets, Yellowjackets, & Potter wasps)

Polistes sp. (Willards Woods, 8/29/05 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/24/15 12pm)

Polistes sp. (Willards Woods, 8/30/06 6pm)

Polistes sp., probably same as above (Willard's Woods, 8/22/12 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/28/13 1pm) A flash would have been helpful here, as well as getting closer, but after my stings the other day I was reluctant to disturb them, especially since there was at least one queen there. I think the nest was damaged or destroyed when the meadow was partially mowed (stupidly -- it was supposed to be done in late fall).

Bald Faced HornetDolichovespula maculata (Bald-Faced Hornet) (Lower Vine Brook, 8/20/11 11am, Willard's Woods, 4/30/2000 2pm, 8/23/13 3pm) Unusually, the nest was essentially on the ground instead of up in a tree. I suppose it could have fallen, but from the first nest photo it looks like it was made around the low brush. In any event, the wasps did not like to be photographed. Despite never coming closer than 4 or 5', and definitely not disturbing the nest directly, they decided I, or my flash, was a threat and attacked. I ended up stung twice, one per leg, before running away.

Polistes dominula (Willard's Woods, 8/22/12 3pm, 7/30/05 3pm) A recent Eurasian invader.

queen workers Vespula maculifrons (Eastern Yellowjacket) (Lower Vine Brook, 5/27/2020 11am, North Street, 9/23/09 2pm) The nest was in an old stump.

Vespula flavopilosa? (Downy Yellowjacket) (Lower Vine Brook, 9/17/11 11am) I could have put this bit of chipmunk in flies, ants, or wasps, but I put it here because it was the yellowjacket that surprised me by eating meat.

sandhills hornetVespula vidua (Ground Hornet) (Willard's Woods, 9/29/13 1pm, Dunback Meadow, 5/29/2000 2pm)

workers male Dolichovespula arenaria (Common Aerial Yellowjacket) (Lower Vine Brook, 7/2/13 12pm (3), Whipple Hill, 6/23/13 11am, Willard's Woods, 8/22/12 3pm) I didn't want to get too close. The nest was only about a foot off the ground, which surprised me.

Eumeninae (Mason and Potter wasps)

Mason wasp (Lexington, 7/23/06 10am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 10/6/12 1pm)

Monobia quadridens (Four-toothed mason wasp) (Willard's Woods, 8/8/15 4pm)

Trichogrammatidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Mymaridae (Fairyflies)

Chalcididae (Chalcidoid wasps)

female female ovipositing Leucospis affinis (Lower Vine Brook, 8/5/18 4pm) It was sniffing around a bee box hoping to find a leaf-cutter bee to parasitize.

Leucospidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Perilampidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Eupelmidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Encyrtidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Pteromalidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Aphelinidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Eulophidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

pupae Eulophus sp. (Lower Vine Brook, 6/20/14 4pm)

Eurytomidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Eucharitidae (Chalcidoid wasps)

Torymidae (Chalcidoid wasps)


Braconidae wasp cocoon next to caterpillar corpse (Lexington, 5/28/04 10am)


female male Megarhyssa atrata (Lower Vine Brook, 5/26/12 11am, 6/10/12 12pm for the fully-expanded "tail")

female male Megarhyssa macrurus (Lower Vine Brook, 5/26/12 11am)

Megarhyssa sp. (Stumpstabber) (first 2 photos Lower Vine Brook, 9/22/09 11am, 5/26/12 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/9/12 11am)

Smicroplectrus walleyiSmicroplectrus walleyiSmicroplectrus walleyiSmicroplectrus walleyiSmicroplectrus walleyi (Lower Vine Brook, 9/28/13 1pm) It was resting in proximity to a number of Craesus latitarsus larvae on a young birch sapling.

Bees & Wasps Unidentified to Family Level

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/14/2019 4pm)

(Lexington, 5/4/02 11pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/28/11 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/22/11 9am) I am not sure these are wasps, but they look more like wasps than flies. They are so small I am having difficulty getting a diagnostic picture.

(Willards Woods, 9/21/02 2pm)

(Willard's Woods, 6/22/11 10am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/22/2019 11am) Just hatching from a drilled hole in a wood block. It spent at least an hour eating the pollen in the hole before flying away.

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/27/12 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/23/12 1pm) Probably same as above.

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/1/11 1pm, Arlington Great Meadows, 4/19/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/3/15 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/4/13 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/8/12 11am)

At least a couple of different individuals have filled 3 or 4 bamboo tubes so far. (Lower Vine Brook, 6/15/2019, 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/21/09 2pm)

(Willard's Woods, 9/24/11 1pm)

(Willards Woods, 7/23/06 12pm)

Looks like a potter wasp.

(Willards Woods, 6/22/11 10am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/3/09 11am)

(Willards Woods, 9/20/03 1pm)

(Willards Woods, 7/15/07 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/26/12 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 10/20/12 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/3/13 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/2/13 12pm) The fly's prey is a wasp of some sort.

(Meagherville, 6/30/13 10am) This might be a fly.

(Whipple Hill, 6/30/13 11am) Two horrible pictures. There were perhaps 5 or 6 of these rapidly walking over the leaves of this particular sumac. They wouldn't pause for a photo. I checked a half a dozen more sumac, but couldn't find any more wasps.

(Whipple Hill, 5/5/13 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/4/13 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/7/13 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/7/13 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/12/14 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/12/14 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/6/14 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/24/14 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/11/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 4/19/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/2020 4pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/13/14 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/14 5pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/26/14 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/10/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/10/14 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/30/15 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/30/15 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 4/12/15 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/9/15 4pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/9/15 4pm)

(Willard's Woods, 5/25/15 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/2/2019 4pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/6/15 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/24/15 12pm) I usually don't include dead animals, but the all-blue, metallic color was too good to pass up.

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/8/15 4pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/8/15 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/2020 1pm) Unfortunately only one of the photos was even half-decent, so it is a little hard to tell which type of bee this is.

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/22/2009 11am)

Sawflies, Horntails, & Wood Wasps


Caliroa obsoleta (Lower Vine Brook, 10/11/09 12pm) There were hundreds denuding an oak.

Macremphytus testaceus? (Willard's Woods, 9/29/02 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 9/16/2018 1pm)

Periclista sp.? (Lower Vine Brook, 5/27/12 11am) On oak.

adult Craesus latitarsusCraesus latitarsusCraesus latitarsuslarva Craesus latitarsus (Dusky Birch Sawfly) (Lower Vine Brook, adult 5/26/13 5pm, larva 9/28/13 1pm, Willard's Woods, 7/23/2006 12pm)

Macremphytus tarsatus (Dogwood Sawfly) (Lower Vine Brook, 9/8/12 12pm) I found this sawfly larva on my pants and put it on the dead leaf to photograph it. I am not sure what kind of tree it was on.

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/29/13 12pm)

Pamphiliidae (Web-spinning Sawflies)

Neurotoma fasciata (Cherry Webspinning Sawfly) (Willard's Woods, 8/30/06 7pm, 8/30/2020 12pm)

Diprionidae (Conifer Sawflies)

Diprion similis? (European pine sawfly) (Willards Woods, 8/9/03 1pm, 8/16/2003 12pm) Neither was on a conifer. I don't remember now whether the plants were in the vicinity of pines that it could have fallen off of.




Abia sp. (Willard's Woods, 5/7/06 11am) I had this is in the flies section for years despite it obviously having 4 wings. Sometimes you just can't see what is right in front of you.

male Cimbex americana (Elm sawfly) (Willard's Woods, 6/1/13 10am)


Cephidae (Stem Sawflies)

Xiphydriidae (Wood Wasps)

Siricidae (Horntails)

female male Tremex columba (Pigeon tremex) (Lower Vine Brook, 9/25/12 2pm, Willard's Woods, 7/27/2019 4pm) The prey of our two big ichneumon wasps, Megarhyssa atrata & M. macrurus.

Orussidae (Parasitic Wood Wasps)

Sawflies Unidentified to Family Level

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/27/14 5pm)

(Lexington, 5/28/04 10am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 10/11/09 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/6/09 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/28/11 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/30/11 5pm) On spruce.

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/10/12 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/20/12 11am)

(Whipple Hill, 5/9/10 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 4/8/12 1pm)

(Willard's Woods, 5/25/15 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/2/2019 4pm)

(Willard's Woods, 7/6/2003 4pm)


Mutillidae (Velvet ants)

Dasymutilla vesta (Willard's Woods, 7/31/04 5pm, Whipple Hill, 6/7/14 12pm)

Dasymutilla bioculata

Dasymutilla gibbosa

Pseudomethoca simillima (Lower Vine Brook, 8/20/10 1pm)

Pseudomethoca frigida

Timulla vagans

(Whipple Hill, 5/17/15 2pm)

Formicidae (Ants)

male queen queen workers (Lower Vine Brook, 9/17/11 11am)

queen & male, mating swarm (Lower Vine Brook, 9/1/13 6pm (2), 9/3/2020 4pm) Same as above? These ants emerge from dozens of underground nests in huge numbers to form mating swarms.

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/21/08 2pm)

Lasius sp.? (Lower Vine Brook, 4/23/09 11am)

(Willard's Woods, 6/29/15 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/3/09 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 4/12/10 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/28/11 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 8/23/13 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/22/11 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/18/11 12pm)

(Whipple Hill, 6/30/13 11am)

(Willard's Woods, 6/29/13 6pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/26/13 5pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 4/19/15 1pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 5/11/13 11am)

(Whipple Hill, 5/27/13 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/28/14 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/28/14 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/13/14 2pm)

(Whipple Hill, 5/7/13 6pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 6/30/15 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/5/15 2pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 4/25/2020 3pm) In a grassy field.

Identification & Links

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