Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - September 08, 2008

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Giant black and yellow wasp
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Elgin, Bastrop County. This Aug/Sept. 2008 has revealed a huge black and yellow striped wasp. What is this creature and where does he come from? I'm a native Texan (Austin County) and have never seen such a frightening wasp. By the way, last summer I had numerous red wasp and yellow jackets, this summer they have been replaced by this MEGA wasp.

ANSWER:

There are any number of insects, both true wasps and insects that look like or mimic wasps that might be the bug you're describing.  We do not know what you have.  We recommend contacting your county Extension Service agent.  They might well have received other calls like yours and will know immediately what you're seeing.  If not, they might want to investigate, especially if there is evidence of an agricultural or other economic problem associated with the insects.

If possible, catch one of more specimens in a jar for inspection.  If you have good photographic equipment, close-up photographs might prove very helpful for an entomologist to help you identify your mystery insect. 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Live oak bark splitting in Katy TX
October 03, 2011 - We have a 7 yr old live oak that looks like its bark is splitting open in branches and top leaves look wilted. If that sounds like oak wilt, do we need to have the tree removed? We live in a subdivisi...
view the full question and answer

Rust-colored spots on Lantana?
June 05, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Cibolo TX and my lantana plants are about 3 years old. They have done exceedingly well until this spring. The leaves have developed brown, rust colored spots and the le...
view the full question and answer

Cottony infestation on Turk's Cap in Austin
July 05, 2010 - The Turks Cap in my front planter is well-established and, overall, happy and blooming. However, some of the top leaves, those in the most shaded area, have what looks like a thin, loose layer of cot...
view the full question and answer

Growth on underside of squash plant leaves
August 22, 2009 - I have a mold in my garden that is oval in shape and has spikes growing out of it, the color is yellow. This mold (yup it's not a bug I checked) is all over the underside of my squash plants. Any hel...
view the full question and answer

Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
April 12, 2010 - I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.