Gotcha! (Thynnid Wasp, Myzinum quinquecinctum)

black and yellow wasp with short red antennae on spikelets
A female Five-banded Thynnid Wasp, Myzinum quinquecinctum.

In pursuing knowledge and names of insects, I always find there’s more to find. I was sure — absolutely sure I tell ya! — this featured wasp was in family Scoliidae. So naturally, obviously, I was wrong. I was going to just tag it in that family, but while there were some similar looking wasps there, nothing quite matched. I worked backwards from Scoliidae, and was rewarded to find two more taxonomic families with generally similar-looking species. Thankfully, they aren’t big families.

Longstoryshort, I found family Thynnidae, and thanks to those red-orange antennae, I feel pretty confident this is Myzinum quinquecinctum. At least a Myzinum sp., definitely…definitely among the stinging wasps — that is to say, definitely a wasp…. I’m kidding, I’m pretty sure I’ve got it, but I know I’ll make a mistake again. That’s how it goes!

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2 thoughts on “Gotcha! (Thynnid Wasp, Myzinum quinquecinctum)

  1. Nice picture! These wasps are commonly found in our community pool. Before they drown, I let them latch onto my finger and dry off a little before they fly away–without stinging. The males of the species have a skinnier abdomen with an upturned fake ‘stinger’. The females, like the one in your picture, have a larger abdomen with a downturned stinger that is real but they usually stay on the ground. However these wasps are not likely to attack humans. Beetles are their targets.

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