Do Insectivores Avoid Stinging Insects (you know, because of the stingers)?

I’m thinking about building a bat habitat to help control the bug population in my back yard, but it occurs to me that a hornet’s sting would hurt the inside of a bat’s mouth just as much as it hurts the outside of my skin. Then again, I’m not a bat and don’t really know what their diet is about, other than that insectivorous bats eat, uh, insects.

What’s the scoop?

I once owned a panther chameleon that lived in an outdoor enclosure. He would eat wasps as quickly as any other insect that came within range. He would chew them much quicker than the crickets he was normally fed, so it appears that he knew what he was dealing with.

I also had a large golden orb-weaver spider that lived outside my kitchen window. There was a paper wasp nest nearby, and on two occasions I remember her cutting loose wasps that had flown into her web. So I guess it depends on the insectivore.

From :

You might also be interested in the Bat House FAQ on the website (from whence the above information came.) We have a bat house with a bat living in it on the SW side of our house under the eaves about 15 feet up. We feel quite fortunate. In regard to hornets, they’re diurnal and in their nests when bats are active at night.

Side note re insectivores. Roadrunners are among the very few anythings that eat Tarantula Hawk wasps.

Depends on the insectivore, basically. There are many, many birds that virtually specialize in hymenoptera - for example the aptly named bee-eaters ;). But really they are legion, I was just watching a pair of Hooded Orioles picking off honeybees off a large flowering cactus the other day to feed a fledgling. One common strategy is to roughly rub the rear end of the captured bug against something to “de-sting” them.

As for bats, I know they will sometimes avoid colonizing spaces that are infested with a wasp nest, but I dunno if they avoid eating them. However I believe most stinging hymenoptera are diurnal, whereas most insectivorous bats are not ( there are some nocturnal wasps, but they mostly aren’t of the nasty stinging variety ).