New backyard bug: Myzinum sp.

As a rule, I don’t write about every little creature that comes onto our property. Only those that I can safely identify get a write-up. But when one of them shows up consistently over the course of a couple of months, I start to itch to get the ID so I can write about it. And then when one of them invades my office and starts pounding against the window like a house fly trying to escape, I’m really tempted to bend that rule and go ahead and write it up even before I get that ID.

And after all, my website. My rules, right?

So here’s a picture of a little wasp that took a good 10 minutes of convincing before I could get her to agree that the other side of the office window was really where she wanted to be.

Although there are 26 species in 4 genera of this wasp family, the Tiphiidae, in Florida, there are only three species of Myzinummaculata, obscurum and quinquecinctum. According to this write-up in bugguide, I’d have to say that it is in fact M. maculata. Like that beautifully photographed wasp from Archbold Biological Station,

this appears to be M. maculatum [sic] based on the dark antennae, at least one complete yellow band on the abdomen, mostly black coloration and the dark forewings.

M. obscurum females have pairs of yellow spots on each abdominal segment (not complete yellow bands).

M. quinquecinctum females have the wings tinted yellow, along with much more yellow on the body, and red antennae.

I’ve posted these latest pictures on the guide in hopes of getting a positive ID; I’ll let you know if/when I do. But for now, as you can see below, there is at least one complete yellow band on the abdomen of this individual:

And she has dark forewings (or at least a lot of dark in them):

So I’m pretty sure that this is M. maculata (Fabricius), even if I haven’t gotten the official imprimatur from the experts on whom I rely for so many of the identifications on this site.

Welcome to my yard, Myzinum sp.!  Glad we can share space. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could?