Insects I - Bees, Wasps, Sawflies and Ants

This gallery includes insects (except butterflies, moths, and caterpillars).
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 Insects range from virtualy microscopic to nearly palm-sized. I used my diopter attachment to magnify this small <strong>Red Ant</strong>. This photo shows the three body parts that every insect has: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. The <strong>he...

Insects range from virtualy microscopic to nearly palm-sized. I used my diopter attachment to magnify this small Red Ant. This photo shows the three body parts that every insect has: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. The he...

Insects range from virtualy microscopic to nearly palm-sized. I used my diopter attachment to magnify this small Red Ant. This photo shows the three body parts that every insect has: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. The head contains the large black compound eyes, three tiny simple eyes (barely visible above the compound eyes), the antennae and the chewing mandibles. The thorax contains the 6 legs. If the ant had wings, they would be attached to the thorax too. The large abdomen is where the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and reproductive systems are located. Insects don't breathe through their mouth and they don't have a nose, so they have to take in oxygen through small holes in the abdomen called spiracles. The air flows through the spiracles and into tiny, branching trachaea that go all over the insect's body. Insects are classified by orders which reflect the type of wings a particular group has. 2160
2 This photo of an earwig's head shows the segmented antennae and the compound eyes. I took this at 30 times magnification with my new digital stereomicroscope.

This photo of an earwig's head shows the segmented antennae and the compound eyes. I took this at 30 times magnification with my new digital stereomicroscope.

This photo of an earwig's head shows the segmented antennae and the compound eyes. I took this at 30 times magnification with my new digital stereomicroscope. 1031
3 <strong>Thread-waisted Wasp</strong>
<em>Ammophila nigricans</em>
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont
July 2007

Thread-waisted Wasp Ammophila nigricans Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont July 2007

Thread-waisted Wasp Ammophila nigricans Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont July 2007 1090
4 A Thin-waisted Wasp

A Thin-waisted Wasp

A Thin-waisted Wasp 1091
5 This <strong>Red Wasp</strong> is chewing wood fibers from this fence rail into pulp to be used in building her nest. Wasps were the first paper makers!

This Red Wasp is chewing wood fibers from this fence rail into pulp to be used in building her nest. Wasps were the first paper makers!

This Red Wasp is chewing wood fibers from this fence rail into pulp to be used in building her nest. Wasps were the first paper makers! 3079
6 This <strong>Queen Paper Wasp</strong> has begun her nest, as soon as the first workers begin emerging in about a month, they will take over the building and feeding of their sisters. Unfortunately, this wasp nest had to be destroyed, it is at the cabi...

This Queen Paper Wasp has begun her nest, as soon as the first workers begin emerging in about a month, they will take over the building and feeding of their sisters. Unfortunately, this wasp nest had to be destroyed, it is at the cabi...

This Queen Paper Wasp has begun her nest, as soon as the first workers begin emerging in about a month, they will take over the building and feeding of their sisters. Unfortunately, this wasp nest had to be destroyed, it is at the cabin where we have our summer science camp. Colonial wasps like these are very protective of their nests and we can't take the chance of someone getting stung. I feel bad about having to kill them, but it is just too dangerous to mix wasps and 25 middle school-aged kids! 1685
7 We had a kid at the 2005 ORNL science camp who found this paper wasp nest with larvae. We weren't happy about him pulling it off the roof, but since he did I figured I should take advantage of the "photo op"! (See what I mean about mixing middle-school...

We had a kid at the 2005 ORNL science camp who found this paper wasp nest with larvae. We weren't happy about him pulling it off the roof, but since he did I figured I should take advantage of the "photo op"! (See what I mean about mixing middle-school...

We had a kid at the 2005 ORNL science camp who found this paper wasp nest with larvae. We weren't happy about him pulling it off the roof, but since he did I figured I should take advantage of the "photo op"! (See what I mean about mixing middle-schoolers and wasps!?) These larvae are fed caterpillars by their older sisters. Before they pupate they will spin a cap above the cells. After pupation they chew through the cap and emerge as as an adult. 1351
8 This Paper Wasp is tending the larvae on the right side of the Nest. Note the tiny white egg in the upper cell. Fortunately, I had my telephoto lens on my camera so I wasn't as close to the nest as it appears!

This Paper Wasp is tending the larvae on the right side of the Nest. Note the tiny white egg in the upper cell. Fortunately, I had my telephoto lens on my camera so I wasn't as close to the nest as it appears!

This Paper Wasp is tending the larvae on the right side of the Nest. Note the tiny white egg in the upper cell. Fortunately, I had my telephoto lens on my camera so I wasn't as close to the nest as it appears! 1066
9 <strong>Paper wasp</strong>  
<em>Polistes fuscatus</em>
Paper wasp nests can be dangerous because these colonial insects protect their nests aggressively. Only the queen lays eggs, her daughters build the nest, hunt for and feed their baby sisters (...

Paper wasp Polistes fuscatus Paper wasp nests can be dangerous because these colonial insects protect their nests aggressively. Only the queen lays eggs, her daughters build the nest, hunt for and feed their baby sisters (...

Paper wasp Polistes fuscatus Paper wasp nests can be dangerous because these colonial insects protect their nests aggressively. Only the queen lays eggs, her daughters build the nest, hunt for and feed their baby sisters (larvae). The white capped cells in this photo contain pupating wasps. Much to the boys' dismay, they are surprised to learn that only female insects can sting. I love to throw out that little fact in my classes! It is especially fun when I'm teaching at a school where the team mascot is a Hornet or Yellowjacket! :) 2156
10 A <strong>Potter Wasp nest</strong>

A Potter Wasp nest

A Potter Wasp nest 1489
11 Mud dauber wasp nests. The round holes are evidence that the nests are old, the wasps have already left. The larger, rectangular holes are signs that birds have eaten the wasp larvae and spiders.

Mud dauber wasp nests. The round holes are evidence that the nests are old, the wasps have already left. The larger, rectangular holes are signs that birds have eaten the wasp larvae and spiders.

Mud dauber wasp nests. The round holes are evidence that the nests are old, the wasps have already left. The larger, rectangular holes are signs that birds have eaten the wasp larvae and spiders. 1487
12 Mud dauber nest cells

Mud dauber nest cells

Mud dauber nest cells 874
13 I found this female <strong>Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasp</strong> (<em>Trypoxylon politum)</em> building her nest under the porch roof during the 2006 AMSE Science camp. It is fun to listen to the buzzing wasps as they build their nests. She takes small ...

I found this female Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasp (Trypoxylon politum) building her nest under the porch roof during the 2006 AMSE Science camp. It is fun to listen to the buzzing wasps as they build their nests. She takes small ...

I found this female Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasp (Trypoxylon politum) building her nest under the porch roof during the 2006 AMSE Science camp. It is fun to listen to the buzzing wasps as they build their nests. She takes small balls of mud in her mouth to "daub" into rows, adding to the size of her nest. It can take up to 100 trips for a wasp to build a nest. After the wasp finishes the tube, she hunts spiders to bring back to the nest. She stings the spiders, paralyzing them, then stuffs them into the tubes. Next, she lays an egg on the spiders then seals them into a small chamber. This process is repeated several times. The wasp larvae eat the spiders, then pupate inside the tubes. 1875
14 I caught this <strong>Cuckoo wasp</strong> (<em>Chrysididae</em> spp.) sneaking into a newly made mud dauber nest just after the builder in the previous photo left for another load of mud (note the darker, wet mud). This pretty, metallic green wasp wil...

I caught this Cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae spp.) sneaking into a newly made mud dauber nest just after the builder in the previous photo left for another load of mud (note the darker, wet mud). This pretty, metallic green wasp wil...

I caught this Cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae spp.) sneaking into a newly made mud dauber nest just after the builder in the previous photo left for another load of mud (note the darker, wet mud). This pretty, metallic green wasp will lay her egg in the nest. Her larvae will eat the spiders which were to be the "baby food" for the mud dauber larvae and then those larvae will be eaten by the parasitic cuckoo wasp larvae. Unlike the cuckoo birds which are often much larger than their unwilling host parents, these wasps are much smaller than the wasps they parasitize. 1851
15 <strong>Grass-carrier wasp larva</strong>
<em>Isodontia</em> spp.
For the past few years when I have washed my windows, I've noticed some dry grass and what appeared to be cocoons and empty pupa skins stuffed into the bottom of our windowsills where ...

Grass-carrier wasp larva Isodontia spp. For the past few years when I have washed my windows, I've noticed some dry grass and what appeared to be cocoons and empty pupa skins stuffed into the bottom of our windowsills where ...

Grass-carrier wasp larva Isodontia spp. For the past few years when I have washed my windows, I've noticed some dry grass and what appeared to be cocoons and empty pupa skins stuffed into the bottom of our windowsills where the screen slides into the framing. My suspicion was that they were solitary wasp nests. On June 1, 2007 I noticed this yellow larva and 5 small green tree crickets in the framing (note the green leg on its head). Just when I think I've seen all the weird things the insect world has to offer, I find something like this!!! I had a very hard time taking this photo due to the strange angle I had to put my head and the camera, so I was unable to show the entire larva. ***Update*** Thanks to Eric for identifying this critter as a Grass-carrier wasp larva on Bugguide.net. According to him, the building of nests in window tracks is a recent phenomenon, they normally nest in natural cavities. 2181
16 <strong>Grass-carrier wasp larva with Tree Cricket prey</strong>

I now have a small point-and-shoot camera that I can hold close to the subject, I could not get this view with my DSLR and macro lens. This was a very tight angle shot since the wasp l...

Grass-carrier wasp larva with Tree Cricket prey I now have a small point-and-shoot camera that I can hold close to the subject, I could not get this view with my DSLR and macro lens. This was a very tight angle shot since the wasp l...

Grass-carrier wasp larva with Tree Cricket prey I now have a small point-and-shoot camera that I can hold close to the subject, I could not get this view with my DSLR and macro lens. This was a very tight angle shot since the wasp larva was in the screen track of my dining room window! It was interesting to see all the remains of the tree crickets that had been consumed by the wasp larvae. All of the other larvae in the window track had spun cocoons in preparation for winter. 1203
17 This ground-nesting wasp (<em>Scoliid or Tiphiid</em>) was photographed behind one of the cabins in Cades Cove in the Smokies. Ground-dwelling wasps are beneficial because they eat harmful insects, such as caterpillars. There were hundreds of these was...

This ground-nesting wasp (Scoliid or Tiphiid) was photographed behind one of the cabins in Cades Cove in the Smokies. Ground-dwelling wasps are beneficial because they eat harmful insects, such as caterpillars. There were hundreds of these was...

This ground-nesting wasp (Scoliid or Tiphiid) was photographed behind one of the cabins in Cades Cove in the Smokies. Ground-dwelling wasps are beneficial because they eat harmful insects, such as caterpillars. There were hundreds of these wasps flying around and crawling on the ground. Treat them with respect and they will not bother you. I walked up slowly to the nests to make this photograph, I was never stung. 2407
18 Ground Wasp in the Great Smoky Mountains NP

Ground Wasp in the Great Smoky Mountains NP

Ground Wasp in the Great Smoky Mountains NP 5875
19 <strong>Cicada-killer wasp</strong>
<em>Sphecius speciosus</em> / Hymenoptera
These wasps were active in the sandbox on the kindergarten playground at my school in August. It was very hard to convince the administration <u>not</u> to spray the underg...

Cicada-killer wasp Sphecius speciosus / Hymenoptera These wasps were active in the sandbox on the kindergarten playground at my school in August. It was very hard to convince the administration not to spray the underg...

Cicada-killer wasp Sphecius speciosus / Hymenoptera These wasps were active in the sandbox on the kindergarten playground at my school in August. It was very hard to convince the administration not to spray the underground nests since some of the kids were totally freaked out at the sight of these huge wasps emerging from the ground! They are not aggressive to people, only cicadas. I tried to explain it would be more dangerous to spray large amounts of insecticide in the sand than just have the children avoid the sandbox for a few weeks! 2711
20 Note the different colors of the excavated sand of this Cicada killer wasp's underground burrow. I'd love to get a photo of a wasp with a paralyzed cicada!

Note the different colors of the excavated sand of this Cicada killer wasp's underground burrow. I'd love to get a photo of a wasp with a paralyzed cicada!

Note the different colors of the excavated sand of this Cicada killer wasp's underground burrow. I'd love to get a photo of a wasp with a paralyzed cicada! 697
21 A newly-dug <strong>Cicada Killer nest</strong>

A newly-dug Cicada Killer nest

A newly-dug Cicada Killer nest 7549
22 Wasp on Goldenrod 
<em>Scolia bicincta</em>
September 2007

Wasp on Goldenrod Scolia bicincta September 2007

Wasp on Goldenrod Scolia bicincta September 2007 1527
23 This Wasp may get a surprise from the partially-hidden yellow crab Spider under the flower!

This Wasp may get a surprise from the partially-hidden yellow crab Spider under the flower!

This Wasp may get a surprise from the partially-hidden yellow crab Spider under the flower! 1440
24 I was fascinated by this Bumble Bee's face. It is possible to see the 3 small single eyes (called "ocelli") between the huge compound eyes. Note the hairs on the forelegs. These hairs help the bees spread pollen from flower to flower.

I was fascinated by this Bumble Bee's face. It is possible to see the 3 small single eyes (called "ocelli") between the huge compound eyes. Note the hairs on the forelegs. These hairs help the bees spread pollen from flower to flower.

I was fascinated by this Bumble Bee's face. It is possible to see the 3 small single eyes (called "ocelli") between the huge compound eyes. Note the hairs on the forelegs. These hairs help the bees spread pollen from flower to flower. 1404
25 This fuzzy bumblebee is drinking nectar from the flowers of the Butterfly weed, a type of Milkweed. Milkweeds have a special way of being pollinated. The pollenia are shaped like an upside down V, the bee's legs may pick up the pollenia as she visits t...

This fuzzy bumblebee is drinking nectar from the flowers of the Butterfly weed, a type of Milkweed. Milkweeds have a special way of being pollinated. The pollenia are shaped like an upside down V, the bee's legs may pick up the pollenia as she visits t...

This fuzzy bumblebee is drinking nectar from the flowers of the Butterfly weed, a type of Milkweed. Milkweeds have a special way of being pollinated. The pollenia are shaped like an upside down V, the bee's legs may pick up the pollenia as she visits the flowers, if she successfully inserts them into another flower, pollination will occur. 1184
26 This Bumblebee is stealing nectar from the base of this Moneyplant flower. These insects are crafty creatures, they have learned how to go directly to the source of the nectar, bypassing the pistil and stamens. It is common to see holes in Columbine sp...

This Bumblebee is stealing nectar from the base of this Moneyplant flower. These insects are crafty creatures, they have learned how to go directly to the source of the nectar, bypassing the pistil and stamens. It is common to see holes in Columbine sp...

This Bumblebee is stealing nectar from the base of this Moneyplant flower. These insects are crafty creatures, they have learned how to go directly to the source of the nectar, bypassing the pistil and stamens. It is common to see holes in Columbine spurs made by these bees. 967
27 I was excited to catch this Bumblebee with its tongue extended. Bumblebees use their long tongues to drink nectar from tubeshaped flowers.

I was excited to catch this Bumblebee with its tongue extended. Bumblebees use their long tongues to drink nectar from tubeshaped flowers.

I was excited to catch this Bumblebee with its tongue extended. Bumblebees use their long tongues to drink nectar from tubeshaped flowers. 1106
28 Passionflowers seem to be custom-made for Bumblebees. The nectaries are located in the dark maroon area below the green ovary. When the bees contact the large, yellow, rectangular stamens they get covered with pollen on their fuzzy thorax. When they fl...

Passionflowers seem to be custom-made for Bumblebees. The nectaries are located in the dark maroon area below the green ovary. When the bees contact the large, yellow, rectangular stamens they get covered with pollen on their fuzzy thorax. When they fl...

Passionflowers seem to be custom-made for Bumblebees. The nectaries are located in the dark maroon area below the green ovary. When the bees contact the large, yellow, rectangular stamens they get covered with pollen on their fuzzy thorax. When they fly to the next flower they spread the pollen to the green-knobbed pistils. 1006
29 It was interesting to see how the Butterfly Pea opened its upper petals to reveal the anthers when this Bumblebee went up into it to drink nectar! Isn't nature amazing!?

It was interesting to see how the Butterfly Pea opened its upper petals to reveal the anthers when this Bumblebee went up into it to drink nectar! Isn't nature amazing!?

It was interesting to see how the Butterfly Pea opened its upper petals to reveal the anthers when this Bumblebee went up into it to drink nectar! Isn't nature amazing!? 738
30 I photographed this Wood-boring Bee chewing a hole in our mailbox post. There were 3 or 4 of them flying around checking for  their nest holes. It is not hard to see how these bees can chew a nest tunnel into wood when you look at those large mandibles...

I photographed this Wood-boring Bee chewing a hole in our mailbox post. There were 3 or 4 of them flying around checking for their nest holes. It is not hard to see how these bees can chew a nest tunnel into wood when you look at those large mandibles...

I photographed this Wood-boring Bee chewing a hole in our mailbox post. There were 3 or 4 of them flying around checking for their nest holes. It is not hard to see how these bees can chew a nest tunnel into wood when you look at those large mandibles (mouthparts). These are solitary bees, so they are not as likely to sting while protecting their nests. This type of bee is different than the Carpenter Bee, which looks like a Bumblebee. 1861
31 Ants are incredibly strong for their size! It is interesting to watch them move small stones and pieces of soil from the tunnels of their underground nests. Ants are in the order <em>Hymenoptera</em>, meaning "membrane-winged", and are related to bees ...

Ants are incredibly strong for their size! It is interesting to watch them move small stones and pieces of soil from the tunnels of their underground nests. Ants are in the order Hymenoptera, meaning "membrane-winged", and are related to bees ...

Ants are incredibly strong for their size! It is interesting to watch them move small stones and pieces of soil from the tunnels of their underground nests. Ants are in the order Hymenoptera, meaning "membrane-winged", and are related to bees and wasps. Like their relatives, the females are the workers and they can sting. The queen in the colony is the only reproductive member, she lays all the eggs, her daughters do all the work. The males, called drones, have one purpose in life (one can guess what that is!), once that "job" has been fulfilled, he dies. Sorry guys! 993
32 <strong>Black Ant </strong>

Black Ant

Black Ant 1133
33 I was fascinated to watch this tiny black Ant grasp this fly with her mandibles and carry it over leaves and grass during a morning walk. When we go visit my parents in the Panhandle of Florida, Kenny and I enjoy walking in their neighborhood to start ...

I was fascinated to watch this tiny black Ant grasp this fly with her mandibles and carry it over leaves and grass during a morning walk. When we go visit my parents in the Panhandle of Florida, Kenny and I enjoy walking in their neighborhood to start ...

I was fascinated to watch this tiny black Ant grasp this fly with her mandibles and carry it over leaves and grass during a morning walk. When we go visit my parents in the Panhandle of Florida, Kenny and I enjoy walking in their neighborhood to start the day off each morning. We don't seem to get much exercise though, I get too distracted by all the nature. :) Maybe I shouldn't take my camera.... no way! 869
34 I was very surprised to see 2 Ants (only one is visible) struggling up a tree dragging this sowbug over the bark! Insects never cease to amaze me!

I was very surprised to see 2 Ants (only one is visible) struggling up a tree dragging this sowbug over the bark! Insects never cease to amaze me!

I was very surprised to see 2 Ants (only one is visible) struggling up a tree dragging this sowbug over the bark! Insects never cease to amaze me! 752
35 Here's another photo of an Ant carrying a large load. The roach she is dragging along is much larger than she is! She was fast too, I had a hard time focusing on her.

Here's another photo of an Ant carrying a large load. The roach she is dragging along is much larger than she is! She was fast too, I had a hard time focusing on her.

Here's another photo of an Ant carrying a large load. The roach she is dragging along is much larger than she is! She was fast too, I had a hard time focusing on her. 679
36 This Ant was one of many that I saw removing sand grains from their underground nest.

This Ant was one of many that I saw removing sand grains from their underground nest.

This Ant was one of many that I saw removing sand grains from their underground nest. 748
37 <strong>Fire Ant nest</strong>

Anyone living in the south needs to learn what these nests look like! Fire ants build large underground colonies that can often be detected by a large mound of sand or soil above the nest. Beware, any slight disturbanc...

Fire Ant nest Anyone living in the south needs to learn what these nests look like! Fire ants build large underground colonies that can often be detected by a large mound of sand or soil above the nest. Beware, any slight disturbanc...

Fire Ant nest Anyone living in the south needs to learn what these nests look like! Fire ants build large underground colonies that can often be detected by a large mound of sand or soil above the nest. Beware, any slight disturbance will provoke these ants into quickly attacking. 1428
38 <strong>Fire ant queen and workers</strong>
<em>Solenopsis</em> spp.
Milton, FL
Dec. 26, 2008

Unlike many other colonial insects that will tolerate only one queen, Fire ants can have more than one reproductive female. Each queen can live 6 - 7 ye...

Fire ant queen and workers Solenopsis spp. Milton, FL Dec. 26, 2008 Unlike many other colonial insects that will tolerate only one queen, Fire ants can have more than one reproductive female. Each queen can live 6 - 7 ye...

Fire ant queen and workers Solenopsis spp. Milton, FL Dec. 26, 2008 Unlike many other colonial insects that will tolerate only one queen, Fire ants can have more than one reproductive female. Each queen can live 6 - 7 years and lay up to 1,500 eggs per day! This queen is probably leaving the nest to start a new colony. 921
39 <strong>Fire Ants</strong>
<em>Solenopsis invicta</em>
Munson, FL
March 16, 2008

I wanted to get a photo of fire ants for this site, so I stuck a pine needle in a mound. Within seconds, the sandy mound erupted in angry ants! They quickly attacked...

Fire Ants Solenopsis invicta Munson, FL March 16, 2008 I wanted to get a photo of fire ants for this site, so I stuck a pine needle in a mound. Within seconds, the sandy mound erupted in angry ants! They quickly attacked...

Fire Ants Solenopsis invicta Munson, FL March 16, 2008 I wanted to get a photo of fire ants for this site, so I stuck a pine needle in a mound. Within seconds, the sandy mound erupted in angry ants! They quickly attacked the pine needle (see next photo). Better that than my leg! :) Fire ants bite and sting, injecting a venom called solenopsin which can cause serious allergic reaction in sensitive people. 1026
40 <strong>Fire Ants on a blade of grass</strong>

This was not something I was happy to see at the 2008 Science Camp during our Habitat Hunters class! Fire Ants made an appearance in Oak Ridge a couple of years ago and they are making themselves right ...

Fire Ants on a blade of grass This was not something I was happy to see at the 2008 Science Camp during our Habitat Hunters class! Fire Ants made an appearance in Oak Ridge a couple of years ago and they are making themselves right ...

Fire Ants on a blade of grass This was not something I was happy to see at the 2008 Science Camp during our Habitat Hunters class! Fire Ants made an appearance in Oak Ridge a couple of years ago and they are making themselves right at home! I stuck a piece of grass into the nest to show the students what would happen if they stepped on one. Check out the choppers on this little gal! If fire ants attack a blade of grass with this much fury, just imagine what these little gals would do to your ankle! The ant on the right is both stinging and biting the grass. It is important to learn what fire ant nests look like and avoid stepping in them. 1107
41 When we turned over a board in the field at science camp we saw these black ants scurrying to protect the small white larvae and pupae in their nest. I told the students to put the board back just like they found it so they could "put the roof back" on...

When we turned over a board in the field at science camp we saw these black ants scurrying to protect the small white larvae and pupae in their nest. I told the students to put the board back just like they found it so they could "put the roof back" on...

When we turned over a board in the field at science camp we saw these black ants scurrying to protect the small white larvae and pupae in their nest. I told the students to put the board back just like they found it so they could "put the roof back" on the ants' home. I suspect the large larvae and pupae may be a different species of ant, they are much larger than the black adults caring for them. There are some species of "parasitic" ants that lay their eggs in another type of ants' nest. The invaded ants will care for the larvae and pupae as though they were of their own kind. The following photo shows the drastic size difference of the ants and the pupa. However, if you look closely in this photo you'll see a few smaller pupae which are probably the same type as the black adults. 1095
42 <strong>Acrobat Ants</strong>
<em>Crematogaster</em> spp. 
June 2008

These poor adult ants are struggling to move a pupa that is considerably larger than themselves. They are moving a future "reproductive" ant (either a queen or drone) that will h...

Acrobat Ants Crematogaster spp. June 2008 These poor adult ants are struggling to move a pupa that is considerably larger than themselves. They are moving a future "reproductive" ant (either a queen or drone) that will h...

Acrobat Ants Crematogaster spp. June 2008 These poor adult ants are struggling to move a pupa that is considerably larger than themselves. They are moving a future "reproductive" ant (either a queen or drone) that will help start a new colony. They are called "acrobat" ants because they often raise their heart-shaped abdomen when disturbed. If these ants had not been so busy trying to move the pupa, they probably would have had their abdomens raised! If you look VERY closely, you may be able to see the tiny stinger of the ant on the right. I had to be careful not to get stung as I moved in close with my macro lens to get this photo! 796
43 <strong>Acrobat Ants</strong>
<em>Crematogaster</em> spp. 
June 2009

These poor adult ants are struggling to move a pupa that is considerably larger than themselves. They are moving a future "reproductive" ant (either a queen or drone) that will h...

Acrobat Ants Crematogaster spp. June 2009 These poor adult ants are struggling to move a pupa that is considerably larger than themselves. They are moving a future "reproductive" ant (either a queen or drone) that will h...

Acrobat Ants Crematogaster spp. June 2009 These poor adult ants are struggling to move a pupa that is considerably larger than themselves. They are moving a future "reproductive" ant (either a queen or drone) that will help start a new colony. Note the large larva in the top of the photo. They are called "acrobat" ants because they often raise their heart-shaped abdomen when disturbed. If these ants had not been so busy trying to move the pupa, they probably would have had their abdomens raised! 621
44 When we turned over a board in the field at science camp we saw these black ants scurrying to protect the small white pupae in their nest. I told the students to put the board back just like they found it so they could "put the roof back" on the ants' ...

When we turned over a board in the field at science camp we saw these black ants scurrying to protect the small white pupae in their nest. I told the students to put the board back just like they found it so they could "put the roof back" on the ants' ...

When we turned over a board in the field at science camp we saw these black ants scurrying to protect the small white pupae in their nest. I told the students to put the board back just like they found it so they could "put the roof back" on the ants' home. 766
45 These large black Ants are moving a pupa. It is so interesting to watch ants move an object that is as large as themselves!

These large black Ants are moving a pupa. It is so interesting to watch ants move an object that is as large as themselves!

These large black Ants are moving a pupa. It is so interesting to watch ants move an object that is as large as themselves! 845
46 I wasn't expecting to see these Ants and their pupae "sisters" when we lifted the snake tin at Tremont!

I wasn't expecting to see these Ants and their pupae "sisters" when we lifted the snake tin at Tremont!

I wasn't expecting to see these Ants and their pupae "sisters" when we lifted the snake tin at Tremont! 776
47 These Ants were rapidly passing each other in a line going from a food source to the nest and vice versa. Ants use their antennae to follow a chemical trail put down by the other ants.

These Ants were rapidly passing each other in a line going from a food source to the nest and vice versa. Ants use their antennae to follow a chemical trail put down by the other ants.

These Ants were rapidly passing each other in a line going from a food source to the nest and vice versa. Ants use their antennae to follow a chemical trail put down by the other ants. 738
48 A <strong>Red Ant</strong> (<em>Formica</em> spp.) milking Oleander Aphids. These types of ants stroke aphids with their antennae to encourage them to release a clear liquid called "honeydew", which they drink.

A Red Ant (Formica spp.) milking Oleander Aphids. These types of ants stroke aphids with their antennae to encourage them to release a clear liquid called "honeydew", which they drink.

A Red Ant (Formica spp.) milking Oleander Aphids. These types of ants stroke aphids with their antennae to encourage them to release a clear liquid called "honeydew", which they drink. 906
49 Ants swarm on Peony flower buds to eat the sticky sap on the sepals.

Ants swarm on Peony flower buds to eat the sticky sap on the sepals.

Ants swarm on Peony flower buds to eat the sticky sap on the sepals. 931
50 This Ant is drinking nectar from a Passionflower nectary. The plant has these extra-floral nectaries to attract ants, which in turn, protect the plant from insects that would eat it.

This Ant is drinking nectar from a Passionflower nectary. The plant has these extra-floral nectaries to attract ants, which in turn, protect the plant from insects that would eat it.

This Ant is drinking nectar from a Passionflower nectary. The plant has these extra-floral nectaries to attract ants, which in turn, protect the plant from insects that would eat it. 741
51 <strong>Honey Bee</strong>
<em>Apis mellifera</em> / Hymenoptera
This honeybee is drinking nectar from White Clover flowers in my yard. Note the <em>pollen basket</em> on her hind leg. Bees have a <em>honey stomach</em> which they fill with nectar th...

Honey Bee Apis mellifera / Hymenoptera This honeybee is drinking nectar from White Clover flowers in my yard. Note the pollen basket on her hind leg. Bees have a honey stomach which they fill with nectar th...

Honey Bee Apis mellifera / Hymenoptera This honeybee is drinking nectar from White Clover flowers in my yard. Note the pollen basket on her hind leg. Bees have a honey stomach which they fill with nectar then return to the hive. It would take 1500 trips to fill a teaspoon with nectar. The nectar is put into the honeycombs. When about half of the water has evaporated, the nectar becomes honey. Notice how the individual clover flowers change color and position when they have been pollinated. Bees collect pollen on the pollen baskets on their hind legs to take back to the hive. The pollen is mixed with honey (called "bee bread") and eaten by the larvae and bees. Have you ever noticed little yellow splotches on your car? That is "bee pee"! :) Bees are in the order Hymenoptera, along with ants, sawflies, hornets, yellowjackets and wasps. 1173
52 <strong>A Bee Pollinating Crocus</strong>

Note the pollen basket on the hind leg and the pollen grains on her thorax. This photo was taken in mid-February. Honeybees can become active in winter if the temperature rises above 60 degrees F. Unfortunat...

A Bee Pollinating Crocus Note the pollen basket on the hind leg and the pollen grains on her thorax. This photo was taken in mid-February. Honeybees can become active in winter if the temperature rises above 60 degrees F. Unfortunat...

A Bee Pollinating Crocus Note the pollen basket on the hind leg and the pollen grains on her thorax. This photo was taken in mid-February. Honeybees can become active in winter if the temperature rises above 60 degrees F. Unfortunately, we have had way too many 60+ degree days in the winter of 2007 - 2008! 774
53 This Bee stinger display is located at the nature center at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, TN. It is a great way to show the difference in the barbed stingers of honeybees and the smooth stingers of all other bees, wasps and ants. A worker honeybee's...

This Bee stinger display is located at the nature center at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, TN. It is a great way to show the difference in the barbed stingers of honeybees and the smooth stingers of all other bees, wasps and ants. A worker honeybee's...

This Bee stinger display is located at the nature center at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, TN. It is a great way to show the difference in the barbed stingers of honeybees and the smooth stingers of all other bees, wasps and ants. A worker honeybee's stinger is pulled out when she stings and the venom sack continues to pump. It is important to get the stinger out quickly to keep from being invenomated too much. Do not grab and squeeze the stinger, it must be scraped out by a fingernail, knife blade, or even a credit card. The bee dies after losing her stinger. Female worker bees live for 4 weeks, the final week they are in the field gathering nectar and pollen. They are the most commonly seen honeybees. Male bees have one purpose in life (mating), when that purpose has been accomplished, they die (like the workers, the males also lose a body part! I won't go into too much detail, this is a family-friendly site!). ;) 1158
54 My parents' Jack Russell Terrier, Buttons, was favoring his right front leg one day when we were visiting them in Florida, upon closer inspection I noticed this large stinger and venom sac that was lodged in his leg. That poor little dog has had a lot ...

My parents' Jack Russell Terrier, Buttons, was favoring his right front leg one day when we were visiting them in Florida, upon closer inspection I noticed this large stinger and venom sac that was lodged in his leg. That poor little dog has had a lot ...

My parents' Jack Russell Terrier, Buttons, was favoring his right front leg one day when we were visiting them in Florida, upon closer inspection I noticed this large stinger and venom sac that was lodged in his leg. That poor little dog has had a lot of problems recently with the neighborhood critters; he's been bitten twice by Pygmy rattlesnakes in their yard and now stung by a very large wasp! 909
55 <strong>Honeybee with Milkweed pollinia</strong>

It took nearly 50 shots to finally get this picture! I had to handhold the camera because the bee was moving too fast to use a tripod. She was having a very difficult time walking on the milkweed flow...

Honeybee with Milkweed pollinia It took nearly 50 shots to finally get this picture! I had to handhold the camera because the bee was moving too fast to use a tripod. She was having a very difficult time walking on the milkweed flow...

Honeybee with Milkweed pollinia It took nearly 50 shots to finally get this picture! I had to handhold the camera because the bee was moving too fast to use a tripod. She was having a very difficult time walking on the milkweed flowers because of all the pollinia that had attached to her feet! Milkweed flowers have highly specialized pollen-bearing structures that must be picked up by a bee or beetle, then correctly inserted into another flower on a nearby plant. Maybe she will succeed in pollinating some flowers so there will be some seedpods this fall! :) 651
56 This female Bumblebee is visiting a milkweed flower. Her bulging pollen baskets have pollen from a different type of flower.

This female Bumblebee is visiting a milkweed flower. Her bulging pollen baskets have pollen from a different type of flower.

This female Bumblebee is visiting a milkweed flower. Her bulging pollen baskets have pollen from a different type of flower. 796
57 Copy of Red Velvet ant

Copy of Red Velvet ant

Copy of Red Velvet ant 791
58 <strong>Cow Killer; Velvet Ant</strong>
<em>Dasymutilla occidentalis</em><br> / Hymenoptera
If you see one of these beautiful insects just look, don't touch! The name "Cow Killer" is a good indication of what a nasty sting this little gal has! The re...

Cow Killer; Velvet Ant Dasymutilla occidentalis
/ Hymenoptera If you see one of these beautiful insects just look, don't touch! The name "Cow Killer" is a good indication of what a nasty sting this little gal has! The re...

Cow Killer; Velvet Ant Dasymutilla occidentalis
/ Hymenoptera If you see one of these beautiful insects just look, don't touch! The name "Cow Killer" is a good indication of what a nasty sting this little gal has! The red and black coloring is a good warning that she is dangerous. Even though these insects look like large velvety ants, they are actually wingless wasps. I got stung by one when I was a child, so I can attest to their painful sting. Like other Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants), only the females can sting. I love telling boys in my classes who have "Hornets" or "Yellowjackets" as a team mascot that their mascot is a girl!!! :) Females lay their eggs in bumble bee nests, the ant larvae eat the bee larvae.
2361
59 <strong>Cow Killer; Velvet Ant</strong>
<em>Dasymutilla occidentalis</em>
/ Hymenoptera
Oak Ridge, TN
August 23, 2008

If you see one of these beautiful insects just look, don't touch! Even though these insects look like large velvety ants, they ...

Cow Killer; Velvet Ant Dasymutilla occidentalis / Hymenoptera Oak Ridge, TN August 23, 2008 If you see one of these beautiful insects just look, don't touch! Even though these insects look like large velvety ants, they ...

Cow Killer; Velvet Ant Dasymutilla occidentalis / Hymenoptera Oak Ridge, TN August 23, 2008 If you see one of these beautiful insects just look, don't touch! Even though these insects look like large velvety ants, they are actually wingless wasps. The common name "Cow Killer" is a good indication of what a nasty sting this little gal has! I got stung by one when I was a child, so I can attest to their painful sting. The red and black coloring is a good warning that she is dangerous. Like other Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants), only the females can sting. I love telling boys in my classes who have "Hornets" or "Yellowjackets" as a team mascot that their mascot is a girl!!! :) Females lay their eggs in bumble bee nests, the ant larvae eat the bee larvae. This Velvet Ant was brought to me by my next-door neighbor, Jarod. He had caught her in a Gatorade bottle at his soccer game, I had to wait until she dried out to get this photo! She does have 6 legs, one of them is tucked under her. 1401
60 Male <strong>Cow Killer; Velvet Ant</strong> 
<em>Dasymutilla occidentalis</em> / Hymenoptera
August 12, 2007
This male Velvet Ant, which is really a wasp, landed on our car at a park. I scrambled to get my camera out of the pack. These insects are ...

Male Cow Killer; Velvet Ant Dasymutilla occidentalis / Hymenoptera August 12, 2007 This male Velvet Ant, which is really a wasp, landed on our car at a park. I scrambled to get my camera out of the pack. These insects are ...

Male Cow Killer; Velvet Ant Dasymutilla occidentalis / Hymenoptera August 12, 2007 This male Velvet Ant, which is really a wasp, landed on our car at a park. I scrambled to get my camera out of the pack. These insects are constantly on the move, so it was difficult to photograph it. It sure didn't make things any easier when it crawled under the hood and into a few dried leaves that had collected there! We raised the hood and I scooped it onto a piece of paper to put it on the ground. Some people walked by as I was chasing this guy around with my camera and gave me a pretty funny look. I wonder what people think of me sometimes! ;) As intimidating as this insect looks, being a male, it would not have stung me. Like I tell my students, "The 'he bees' can't sting, only the 'she bees' can!" He was probably frantically racing around to find a mate. (see previous photo of the female) 2278
61 <strong>Velvet Ant</strong>
<em>Dasymutilla gibbosa</em>?
Oak Ridge, TN
July 2008

There are several different species of Velvet Ants, but all have a sting that is painful. I found this one at the University of Tennessee Arboretum. These insects m...

Velvet Ant Dasymutilla gibbosa? Oak Ridge, TN July 2008 There are several different species of Velvet Ants, but all have a sting that is painful. I found this one at the University of Tennessee Arboretum. These insects m...

Velvet Ant Dasymutilla gibbosa? Oak Ridge, TN July 2008 There are several different species of Velvet Ants, but all have a sting that is painful. I found this one at the University of Tennessee Arboretum. These insects move very quickly, so they are difficult to photograph. 731
62 Copy of Velvet ant small1

Copy of Velvet ant small1

Copy of Velvet ant small1 617
63 <strong>Common Yellowjacket  </strong>
<em>Paravespula vulgaris</em> / Hymenoptera
Nov. 3, 2007
These little gals can quickly disrupt a fall hike or picnic, this one is sampling grape juice from the bottle lid. During a warm fall afternoon picnic on...

Common Yellowjacket Paravespula vulgaris / Hymenoptera Nov. 3, 2007 These little gals can quickly disrupt a fall hike or picnic, this one is sampling grape juice from the bottle lid. During a warm fall afternoon picnic on...

Common Yellowjacket Paravespula vulgaris / Hymenoptera Nov. 3, 2007 These little gals can quickly disrupt a fall hike or picnic, this one is sampling grape juice from the bottle lid. During a warm fall afternoon picnic one of my friends noticed a yellowjacket on her hamburger. Before she could shoo it away, the wasp bit off a piece of meat and flew away with it! Yellowjackets are a type of underground-nesting wasp, they are quite active in the fall. As tempting as it may be to kill one if she becomes too pesky, it is important not to kill her. Yellowjackets are social wasps, they give off an alarm pheromone if they are injured or killed, soon more of her sisters will come to help her. The yellow and black coloration is her way of warning that she can sting. It is advisible to keep foods and softdrink cans covered when eating outside. A few years ago a man was stung in the lip by a yellowjacket that got into his softdrink can during a picnic, he went into anaphylactic shock and died before medical help could arrive. 1465
64 <strong>Hornet nests </strong> are interesting, but should be observed at a safe distance. The queen begins the nest as a few cells, like a small wasp nest, in which she lays the first eggs. She feeds the larvae until they undergo pupation. The emergin...

Hornet nests are interesting, but should be observed at a safe distance. The queen begins the nest as a few cells, like a small wasp nest, in which she lays the first eggs. She feeds the larvae until they undergo pupation. The emergin...

Hornet nests are interesting, but should be observed at a safe distance. The queen begins the nest as a few cells, like a small wasp nest, in which she lays the first eggs. She feeds the larvae until they undergo pupation. The emerging worker hornets are all females, therefore they can sting to protect the nest. They chew wood fibers from logs, posts, beams, etc. to make the paper for the nest cells and walls. If you look at the outside walls of the nest, you'll see that they are multicolored hues of muted grays and browns. As the weeks of summer pass, the nest expands because the worker hornets add additional layers of egg cells, like upside-down highrise condos. The cells are used only once, so more must be added as more eggs are laid. The fertilized queen will overwinter, but the workers die with the onset of freezing winter. 1152
65 <strong>Bald-faced Hornet</strong>
<em>Dolichovespula maculata</em>
Knoxville, TN
House Mountain State Natural Area
August 22, 2009

I photographed this insect on a sandstone outcropping at the western overlook of House Mountain. There must have ...

Bald-faced Hornet Dolichovespula maculata Knoxville, TN House Mountain State Natural Area August 22, 2009 I photographed this insect on a sandstone outcropping at the western overlook of House Mountain. There must have ...

Bald-faced Hornet Dolichovespula maculata Knoxville, TN House Mountain State Natural Area August 22, 2009 I photographed this insect on a sandstone outcropping at the western overlook of House Mountain. There must have been a nest nearby, we saw more than one. Fortunately, they were not aggressive and didn't bother us. I probably bothered them when I tried to get a photo as they quickly ran around on the rocks! I was interested to learn that these insects are not true hornets, they are related to Yellowjackets. These are the insects that build the large, gray paper nests that hang from tree limbs. 1127
66 <strong>European Hornet</strong>
<em>Vespa crabro*</em>
Oak Ridge, TN
May 11, 2010

This huge hornet was introduced from Europe into New York in 1840. These large, "true hornets" are aggressive and will defend their nests. My next-door neighbor's ...

European Hornet Vespa crabro* Oak Ridge, TN May 11, 2010 This huge hornet was introduced from Europe into New York in 1840. These large, "true hornets" are aggressive and will defend their nests. My next-door neighbor's ...

European Hornet Vespa crabro* Oak Ridge, TN May 11, 2010 This huge hornet was introduced from Europe into New York in 1840. These large, "true hornets" are aggressive and will defend their nests. My next-door neighbor's son brought this insect over after they caught her in their house. I photographed her in 2 petri dishes. 1740
67 A close-up of the head of the European Hornet

A close-up of the head of the European Hornet

A close-up of the head of the European Hornet 746
68 <strong>Braconid Wasp</strong>

Braconid Wasp

Braconid Wasp 1122
69 An empty Oak gall.<br><br>
This gall was once the home of a wasp larva. The larva from this gall was lucky, it was able to mature into an adult, as indicated by the small escape hole.

An empty Oak gall.

This gall was once the home of a wasp larva. The larva from this gall was lucky, it was able to mature into an adult, as indicated by the small escape hole.

An empty Oak gall.

This gall was once the home of a wasp larva. The larva from this gall was lucky, it was able to mature into an adult, as indicated by the small escape hole.
1089
70 <strong>Sawfly Larvae</strong>

Sawflies are in the order Hymenoptera, they are related to bees, wasps, and ants. These larvae look a lot like butterfly caterpillars but they are not even remotely related. Sawfly larvae often congregate in large grou...

Sawfly Larvae Sawflies are in the order Hymenoptera, they are related to bees, wasps, and ants. These larvae look a lot like butterfly caterpillars but they are not even remotely related. Sawfly larvae often congregate in large grou...

Sawfly Larvae Sawflies are in the order Hymenoptera, they are related to bees, wasps, and ants. These larvae look a lot like butterfly caterpillars but they are not even remotely related. Sawfly larvae often congregate in large groups and raise their posterior ends as a defensive posture. The bright coloration of these may indicate that they are distasteful. 798
71 A Sawfly

A Sawfly

A Sawfly 1383
72 A Sawfly larva on a Waterleaf flower.

A Sawfly larva on a Waterleaf flower.

A Sawfly larva on a Waterleaf flower. 733
73 An Ichneumon Wasp 
<em>Ophion</em> sp.
June 2008

I found this wasp on the blacklight sheet at Science Camp. These wasps are caterpillar parasites.

An Ichneumon Wasp Ophion sp. June 2008 I found this wasp on the blacklight sheet at Science Camp. These wasps are caterpillar parasites.

An Ichneumon Wasp Ophion sp. June 2008 I found this wasp on the blacklight sheet at Science Camp. These wasps are caterpillar parasites. 862
74 Sometimes truth <u>is</u> stranger than fiction, some insects look like something from a B horror movie! I found this wild-looking <strong>Gasteruption wasp</strong> sipping nectar from these New Jersey Tea flowers. Fortunately, female wasps of this ge...

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, some insects look like something from a B horror movie! I found this wild-looking Gasteruption wasp sipping nectar from these New Jersey Tea flowers. Fortunately, female wasps of this ge...

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, some insects look like something from a B horror movie! I found this wild-looking Gasteruption wasp sipping nectar from these New Jersey Tea flowers. Fortunately, female wasps of this genus do not sting, their extremely long ovipositor is used to locate and deposit eggs into solitary bee and wasp larvae nesting in underground cells or plant stems. The adults eat plant nectar. 1349
75 Ichneumon Wasp
Oak Ridge, TN
August 28, 2008

The neighbor boys who live behind me rang my doorbell and told me excitedly about this "thing with a HUGE stinger" they had found on their porch rail. I grabbed my camera because the "thing" sounded int...

Ichneumon Wasp Oak Ridge, TN August 28, 2008 The neighbor boys who live behind me rang my doorbell and told me excitedly about this "thing with a HUGE stinger" they had found on their porch rail. I grabbed my camera because the "thing" sounded int...

Ichneumon Wasp Oak Ridge, TN August 28, 2008 The neighbor boys who live behind me rang my doorbell and told me excitedly about this "thing with a HUGE stinger" they had found on their porch rail. I grabbed my camera because the "thing" sounded interesting! It turned out to be this ichneumon wasp. They were relieved to learn that it would not sting them! 1115
76 This Ichneumon Wasp's plan of making a meal of this spider backfired when the spider quickly began spinning silk around her!

This Ichneumon Wasp's plan of making a meal of this spider backfired when the spider quickly began spinning silk around her!

This Ichneumon Wasp's plan of making a meal of this spider backfired when the spider quickly began spinning silk around her! 805
77 Ichneumon Wasp 
Frozen Head State Park
June 2008

Ichneumon Wasp Frozen Head State Park June 2008

Ichneumon Wasp Frozen Head State Park June 2008 888
78 Mud Dauber parasite cases

Mud Dauber parasite cases

Mud Dauber parasite cases 731
79 This is an empty Oak wasp Gall photographed in the fall.

This is an empty Oak wasp Gall photographed in the fall.

This is an empty Oak wasp Gall photographed in the fall. 883
80 This is one of several <strong>Oak Apple Galls</strong> that we saw on a small tree. They do look a lot like a green apple, however they are hollow with a spongy mass in the middle. A wasp larva (<em>Amphibolips confluenta</em>) lives in the center of ...

This is one of several Oak Apple Galls that we saw on a small tree. They do look a lot like a green apple, however they are hollow with a spongy mass in the middle. A wasp larva (Amphibolips confluenta) lives in the center of ...

This is one of several Oak Apple Galls that we saw on a small tree. They do look a lot like a green apple, however they are hollow with a spongy mass in the middle. A wasp larva (Amphibolips confluenta) lives in the center of the mass. 1183

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