Pure Gold-Green Sweat Bee – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time:  1:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Pure Gold-Green Sweat Bee Scientific Name: Augochlora pura Comments: The pure gold-green sweat bee is a solitary sweat bee native to the eastern United States with striking green iridescence. This species is an important native pollinator in eastern deciduous forests and other habitats. It emerges in spring […]

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Bald-faced Hornet – 5/30/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/30/20 Observation Time:  4:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata Comments: The bald-faced hornet is related to yellowjacket wasps, and is not a true hornet. Its colloquial names include bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, spruce wasp, blackjacket, and bull wasp. Bald-faced hornets are social insects and are most active during […]

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Oak Gall – 5/11/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/11/20 Observation Time: 11:05 a.m. Observation Location: in a small oak tree in the field across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields Common Name: Oak gall Scientific Name: caused by small wasps in the family Cynipidae Comments: Oak apple or oak gall is the common name for a large, round, vaguely apple-like gall commonly found on many species of oak. Oak […]

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Cockroach Wasp – 9/3/19

Observer: Gaurav Shah Observation Date: 9/3/2019 Observation Time:  N/A Observation Location: Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail Common Name: Cockroach Wasp Scientific Name: Podium luctuosum Comments: This is the first record of this genus in Massachusetts according to BugGuide, and only the second in New England (there are other existing records from iNaturalist). More information: https://bugguide.net/node/view/202008

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Cockroach Wasp – 9/3/19

Observer: Gaurav Shah Observation Date: 9/3/2019 Observation Time:  N/A Observation Location: Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail Common Name: Cockroach Wasp Scientific Name: Dolichurus cf. bicolor Comments: There are no existing records of this genus in the country in iNaturalist, and only one in BugGuide (which was in Arkansas).  This species has one of the most remarkable adaptations in all of nature: they are able to remove […]

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Wool Sower Gall Wasp – 5/27/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/27/10 Observation Time: 4:25 p.m. Observation Location: Beneath the high tension lines near So. Walpole St. Common Name: Wool Sower Gall Wasp Scientific Name: Callirhytis seminator Comments: Pink-spotted, white cottony wool sower galls are about the size of a ping-pong ball and are produced by a tiny species of Cynipid wasp, Callirhytis seminator, and are most commonly found on white […]

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Bald-faced Hornet – Nov., 2018

Observer: Richard Mandell Observation Date: November, 2018 Observation Time:  N/A Observation Location: 280 Mountain Street Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata Comments: The bald-faced hornet is related to yellowjacket wasps, and is not a true hornet. Its colloquial names include bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, spruce wasp, blackjacket, and bull wasp. Bald-faced hornets are social insects and are most active during the […]

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Weevil Wasp – 7/7/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/7/18 Observation Time: 1:45 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Weevil Wasp Scientific Name: Cerceris Comments: Members of the genus Cerceris hunt weevils and other beetles. Females dig nests in the ground along roads or in areas with loose sand or soil like baseball fields, parks and beaches. They compact the material and create cells where they lay […]

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Great Golden Digger Wasp – 7/20/15

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/20/15 Observation Time: 5:10 p.m. Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Common Name: Great Golden Digger Wasp Scientific Name: Sphex ichnumoneus Comments: Sphex ichnumoneus is a species of solitary wasp, commonly known as the Great Golden Digger Wasp. This large and colorful wasp can frequently be found nectaring at flowers in late summer and fall. It makes burrows in bare ground or grassy places. […]

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Great Black Wasp – 7/18/15

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/18/15 Observation Time: 4:40 p.m. Observation Location: soccer parking lot near Gavins Pond Common Name: Great Black Wasp Scientific Name: Sphex pensylvanicus Comments: Sphex pensylvanicus is a species of digger wasp, commonly known as the great black wasp. It lives across most of North America and grows to a size of 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in). The larvae feed on living insects that the females […]

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Velvet Ant – 5/19/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/13 Observation Time: 3:20 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond area Common Name: Velvet Ant Scientific Name: Pseudomethoca simillima Comments: This ant-like creature is not an ant at all, but rather a wingless wasp. It can sting you, so don’t pick it up! Watch (and listen) to a velvet ant in action. More Information: The Backyard Arthropod Project

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Thread-Waisted Wasp – 7/16/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/16/11 Observation Time: 4:45 p.m. Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Common Name: Thread-waisted wasp Scientific Name: Ammophila procera Comments: This large solitary wasp (over an inch long) has an interesting life cycle, which is shown in this Vimeo video. More Information: insectidentification.org

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Red-Banded Sand Wasp – 9/9/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/9/13 Observation Time: 2:35 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond area Common Name: Red-banded Sand Wasp Scientific Name: Ammophila sabulosa Comments: The female red-banded sand wasp first excavates a nest for her larva. After that she hunts a caterpillar, often a moth caterpillar. She then paralyses the caterpillar, but the caterpillar remains alive. Then she carries the caterpillar to the nest. She […]

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Northern Paper Wasp – 9/22/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/22/13 Observation Time: 4:00 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond area near soccer parking lot Common Name: Northern Paper Wasp Scientific Name: Polistes fuscatus Comments: This individual appeared to be gleaning wood fibers for use in constructing or repairing a nest. More Information: Wikipedia

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Honeybee – 7/31/12

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/31/12 Observation Time: 11:15 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Honeybee Scientific Name: Apis mellifera Comments: Honeybees perform the vital service of pollinating crops. Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon maintains honeybee colonies for pollinating strawberries and other crops. Honeybees may travel several miles to gather nectar for making honey. Since 2007, abnormally high die-offs (30–70% of hives) of honeybee colonies have […]

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Great Black Wasp & prey – 7/18/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/18/13 Observation Time: 3:15 p.m. Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Great Black Wasp Scientific Name: Sphex pensylvanicus Comments: This photo shows a great black wasp carrying a paralyzed katydid to its burrow. Sphex pensylvanicus is a species of digger wasp. It lives across most of North America and grows to a size of 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in). The larvae feed on […]

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Cicada Killer Wasp – 8/6/12

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/6/12 Observation Time: 1:25 p.m. Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Cicada Killer Wasp Scientific Name: Sphecius speciosus Comments: These large, fearsome-looking wasps burrow in the ground. They are actually not aggressive. I found a sandy area near the Gavins Pond Dam that was peppered with their holes. It took a while to figure out that these holes were made by […]

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Mason Wasp – 8/17/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/17/11 Observation Time: 12:15 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Mason Wasp Scientific Name: Monobia quadridens Comments: Mason wasps are solitary. They have a metallic blue sheen on their wings. Females usually build nests in abandoned holes of other bee and wasp species. Sometimes mistaken for Bald-faced Hornet, but note the position and extent of white on the […]

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Great Black Wasp – 8/17/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/17/11 Observation Time: 12:15 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Great Black Wasp Scientific Name: Sphex pensylvanicus Comments: Sphex pensylvanicus is a species of digger wasp, commonly known as the great black wasp. It lives across most of North America and grows to a size of 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in). The larvae feed on living insects that the females paralyze and carry […]

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Great Golden Digger Wasp – 7/27/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/27/11 Observation Time: 3:50 p.m. Observation Location: soccer parking lot near Gavins Pond Common Name: Great Golden Digger Wasp Scientific Name: Sphex ichnumoneus Comments: Sphex ichnumoneus is a species of solitary wasp, commonly known as the Great Golden Digger Wasp. This large and colorful wasp can frequently be found nectaring at flowers in late summer and fall. It makes burrows in bare ground […]

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Bumblebee – 6/29/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/29/10 Observation Time: 7:50 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road area Common Name: Bumble Bee Scientific Name: Bombus sp. Comments: Bumblebees are important pollinators. There are many species of bumblebees. More information: Bumblebees of the Eastern United States

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