First of all, this is not a bug by definition. It’s a Great Golden Digger Wasp-Sphex ichneumoneus and fairly large…about an inch long. But it’s a gentle giant in terms of aggression towards humans and of no threat whatsoever to us.
The female will dig burrows, bury them temporarily and then start finding small insects which she will sting to paralyze and then carry them to the burrows. Once in the burrows, she will lay a single egg on each and bury the hole again, this time for good until the young hatches and feeds on the living food supply provided by the stung insect.
In these shots, the wasp is feeding on my boneset plants. The first time I saw one was on the milkweed flowers in my front yard back in June. I saw it flying over the flowers from across the yard and mistook it for a hummingbird. They really are not quite that large, but still quite big for an insect and the largest of the wasps I have seen to date…not that I am an expert.
I know the idea of a wasp will turn some, maybe most, folks off. But the more familiar one gets with these and many other insects, the more beautiful and less threatening they become. I love the coloration of this species.