It resembles a bee yellow and black, similar to Acherontia atropos but had smaller wings. What is it?

I would like to know what I saw today as an insect in Spain. It resembles a bee and wasp. It had a yellow head (of the bee) and black and yellow stripes on the body (fine as a wasp). The estimate of the insect is 4 to 5 cm. It resembles an Acherontia atropos but had finer wings. The color of the wings were translucent brown. The wings were as long as the body. And had hairy legs and a stinger. What could it have been?

Asker: Aurelie, 16 years old


Hi Aurelie,

You have asked a very difficult question because identifying insects is not that simple without the animal or even without a photo. You compare your animal to a skull butterfly but on the other hand it looks more like a wasp. I can’t make much of it without a photo, but I think it’s a wood wasp. The pictures on the internet will get you a long way.

Kind regards,


Answered by

Dr Rudy Jocque

Arachnology Zoology Biodiversity

Royal Museum for Central Africa
Leuvensesteenweg 13 3080 Tervuren


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