Ant? No, a wasp.



Hi

I found your blog whilst looking for information about ants. I found
this large, winged, ant strolling around my kitchen today. 2cm long and
with a bright red body with black tip. It raised its tail end a couple
of times when I gently nudged it with a piece of paper - as though it
may have attempted to sting. I let it go in the garden - but I'm just
curious to know what it is. Is it a common ant? Are there likely to be
more? And should I be concerned that there may be a colony in my
house? Oh yes - and I live in Catalonia, Spain.

Any ideas please?
thanks in advance

kind regards
Dena

Prionyx_lividocinctus.JPG

Dear Dena -

Thanks for your inquiry and the accompanying photos. And I have to inject here, lucky you living in Catalonia, my favorite part of Spain! By the way, it may interest you to know that there is an active group of professional and amateur ant enthusiasts in Spain, many of them around Barcelona, and they communicate at an online forum - www.lamarabunta.org.

Your critter, as it turns out, is not an ant, but a related insect. Your pictures show one of the solitary hunting wasps in the family Sphecidae. Both ants and wasps, as well as bees and sawflies, are in the insect order Hymenoptera. I don't know wasps as well as ants, but I believe yours is the common European grasshopper-hunting species Prionyx lividocinctus. You need not worry that there is a colony of them in the house, nor even outside, since they live a solitary life. I appreciate that you took the care to return it to the outdoors.

James Trager & the AntAsk Team


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