Unidentified Flying Insects….. Calling for help from the Blogosphere!

My father grew up on a farm and went to agricultural college back in the 60s, where he took at least one course in entomology – side note… I spelled it wrong as ‘entymology’ and was led astray for several minutes trying to figure out the right word because dictionary.com prompted me to etimology and endimiology, which I knew weren’t right either, but without the proper spelling the dictionary wasn’t helping me at all… so finally I just googled “the study of insects”… finally, now I’m back- ummmm…. where was I???… oh yah, sorry – so my dad took a course in ENTOMOLOGY- and my mom grew up at a cottage, around hunters and fisherman and general wilderness lovers.
So, mostly when I say “what is that bug?” I get a reasonable answer. It’s like google but it’s mom and dad. If they don’t know, someone else in our family generally does. (I don’t mean to brag, but I have an awfully smart family….When all of the cousins are in a room, I’m pretty sure we know a bit about everything- including knowing what actually happens when you google information, because one of my cousins is a programmer (aka hacker) at Google… oh, yah, where was I again…I’m awfully distractible today)…
But the last few summer seasons we have a NEW BUG (I wish I could insert scary screechy music here) and NONE OF US knows what it is. Inspired by recent flower and insect identifications by my fellow bloggers, I decided that TODAY I WOULD PHOTOGRAPH this elusive nameless flying thing and I would post it online, discover the answer, and I WOULD GO BACK TO MY PARENTS A HERO – because FINALLY at 39 I can teach them something they don’t already know.
Unfortunately, these little buggers were NOT very willing to be photographed. For starters, anytime I got near their dwelling (under the grass near the pool- they seem to have burrowed into tiny little holes) they stopped flying around. For nexters (I have no idea what comes after ‘for starters’)…when I finally was patient enough to sit and wait, and they came out of hiding- they flew SO fast I had no hope. I tried setting a fixed focus, and I got two “almost” shots in flight as they ducked in and out of the frame… but mostly, I just got blurs. (I am not giving up yet— I will try again another day). I DID get a few reasonable shots while they were sitting on the grass…. and I’m going to post the ones I’ve gotten, in hopes that SOMEONE will be able to tell me what they are.
They are about the size of a large wasp, with a segmented body like an ant. They don’t seem to be aggressive towards humans or pets- they just buzz around. None of us have been stung, nor have they landed on us at all. They catch katydids, which are quite a bit larger than they are, and manage to carry them in flight back to their burrows, then drag them down inside.
I suppose I should also add that we live in Ontario Canada, not far from the Northern shores of the St Lawrence River, in the Thousand Islands region.

this one ALMOST flew into the frame.


oops, he just flew out of frame… and not even quite in focus….his wings are moving so fast you can’t even see them.


I could get a bit of a decent image when it stayed on the ground- but even then it wasn’t still, and it kept dodging in and out of the grass.


this one shows the wings and the head- but although it looks somewhat fly-like from this angle, it really does appear more wasp or ant-like in the body.

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About Another Perspective Photography

I am a mother, a wife, a photographer, an alto, a friend... I am creative and quirky and funny. I love my husband and kids, I love my dog Pearl, I love my friends, I love pink. I am a photographer for Gananoque, Kingston and Brockville. I love Wedding Photography, Newborn and Baby Photography, Maternity Photography, and Family Photography.

3 responses to “Unidentified Flying Insects….. Calling for help from the Blogosphere!”

  1. Tracy Raymond says :

    It’s called a Great Black Wasp

  2. Mike Powell says :

    Here’s a link for more info on the Great Black Wasp. http://bugguide.net/node/view/5530

  3. Pat says :

    Amber & Joey had them around the pool area last summer,and they seem to burrow into the ground they were told its a type of a wasp,As you said they are very fast,you got some good photo’s of it though….

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