Currently viewing the category: "Parasitic Hymenopterans"
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Subject: Ichneumons
Location: Minneapolis, MN
September 1, 2015 9:19 pm
Here’s a cool photo of two Ichneumons, taken today in Minneapolis by my daughter Colette Walters while out on a walk, very warm here.
Signature: Jodie Walters

Stump Stabbers

Stump Stabbers

Dear Jodie,
We agree that Colette’s image of two Stump Stabbers laying eggs is quite beautiful.  They appear to be
Megarhyssa macrurus.

Aundrea Murillo-Faynik, Brenda Deroo, Lisa Vacula, Heather Duggan-Christensen liked this post
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Subject: Are these wasp larvae on a laurel sphinx caterpillar?
Location: Michigan
August 27, 2015 6:21 pm
I found this intriguing caterpillar today, and I think it is a laurel sphinx caterpillar. But what are those things on its back? Could those be wasp larvae?
Signature: J. McGuire

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Dear J. McGuire,
We agree that this is a Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar, and it does appear to have parasites, however, the parasitoid looks very different from the typical Braconid infestation pictured on Featured Creatures that is typically seen on the Laurel Sphinx and other Hornworms.  We will continue to try to locate a similar looking image and try to identify the species of Parasitoid.

Kimberly Wochele, Tynisha Koenigsaecker, Sue Dougherty, Mary Lemmink Lawrence liked this post
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Subject: Bug ID Please
Location: Alpena, Michigan 49707
August 16, 2015 4:50 pm
The attached photo is a bug that appears to be boring into my maple tree. Location is Alpena, Michigan. Can you identify this bug and let me know what damage it can do and how to get rid of it.
Thank you,
Dan Daoust
Signature: Black ink

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Dear Black ink,
Any child raised on the Golden Book nature series will recognize the Giant Ichneumon,
Megarhyssa atrata, commonly called a Stump Stabber.  This female in the process of laying eggs is not causing any harm to your tree.  Conversely, she is laying her eggs where the larvae that hatch will come into contact with the wood boring larvae of the Pigeon Horntail.

Thanks for the quick reply and the info.  Is there anything that I need to do to prevent tree damage from the wood wasps. It appears as though they are hard workers.

It is our understanding that they do not attack healthy trees, so your maple was probably already compromised.  Promptly removing dead and diseased branches should help.

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Subject: Please can you help me to identify this?
Location: South América Ecuador Pichincha near LLoa “town”
August 12, 2015 9:54 pm
Hi thank you so much for reading this. I was wondering if you. can help me with this. I found this by a river in South América it was found in LLoa about 30 minutes from Quito the capital city of Ecuador. It was found on the. higlands at about 3000meters near the rainforest.
Signature: Ecuador identification

Pelecinid

Pelecinid

This is a Pelecinid, a parasitic wasp in the family Pelecinidae, and it is the first example we have ever received from outside North America.  According to BugGuide:  “One North American genus with only one species: Pelecinus polyturator Drury 1773. Worldwide, there is only one extant genus, Pelecinus, with three recognized species (Johnson and Musetti, 1999):
Pelecinus polyturator (North America, Central America, South America)
Pelecinus thoracicus (western Mexico)
Pelecinus dichrous (South America)
The family was much more diverse during the Mesozoic era (Beetles in the Bush).”
We are not certain which of the South American species your individual represents.  Pelecinids prey upon the subterranean larvae of Scarab Beetles, and the female uses her long, flexible abdomen to lay eggs underground in proximity to the Scarab larva.  Beetles in the Bush has a very nice posting on the genus with this information:  “
Pelecinus polyturator is the only North American member of the family Pelecinidae, which itself contains only two additional species that are restricted to Mexico and Central/South America. It wasn’t always this way—fossils assignable to the family and representing 43 species in a dozen genera have been found as far back as the early Cretaceous (121–124 mya) across North America, Europe, and Asia (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). Surely this represents just the tip of the iceberg of Mesozoic and early Cenozoic pelecinid diversity, making today’s three species the last representatives of a once great lineage—’living fossils’ some might say.”

Thank you so much for your answer!
I will definitely make a donation for you guys.
thank you again.

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Subject: At lake george
Location: Lake george, NY
August 9, 2015 6:29 am
I saw this at lake george area. Does not look like a scorpionfly . Never seen these in pictures either
Signature: Rehan

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Dear Rehan,
This is an American Pelecinid, a parasitic wasp that uses its long abdomen to lay eggs on or near subterranean Scarab Beetle Larvae which serve as food for the developing Pelecinid larva.

Amy Gosch, Sue Dougherty, Mike Coughlin, Ann Levitsky liked this post
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Subject: As coined by a commenter – a Nope Striped Nopey Nope Nope
Location: South Eastern Wisconsin
August 7, 2015 7:03 am
Good Morning!
First off, thank you for providing such a valuable resource for us “what in the heck is this thing”ers; it has helped solve more than a few similar situations and I continue to direct people here when they have bug identification questions (and to donate).
This morning a friend of mine posted the attached pictures (apologies for the blurriness) asking for help. At first glance it was assumed to be a black and yellow mud dauber, but the abdomen seems to be much too large (as well as striped). I had attempted (in vain) to identify what the forked end on the abdomen was as well, but looking at it now I think it may just be other parts (legs?) that are folded under the body. Also, the fat thorax (much larger than I’m accustomed to around here) throws me for a loop. The segmentation just doesn’t seem right for a wasp.
Sadly, this little guy (gal?) said hi to individuals who were less than hospitable and was swatted down in their prime.
Thanks for your help in advance!
Signature: Matthew

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Matthew,
Based on the long antennae, we decided to begin our searching among the parasitic wasps known as Ichneumons, and we quickly found a similar looking individual identified as
Setanta compta on the Nature Search site, but the striping on that individual goes to the tip of the abdomen while your individual has a black tipped abdomen.  The striping on the legs is also different, but we still turned to BugGuide to see if there was more variation in the species.  We then determined you have a different species, and we located a very good match on BugGuide, but alas, it is only identified to the tribe Ichneumonini.  Your individual also looks similar to Diphyus palliatorius pictured on the French language page Aramel.Free.  According to BugGuide, in the family Ichneumonidae there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family,”  and we don’t believe we will be able to provide you with an exact species identity, but we do believe the closest we can come is the unidentified individual on Bugguide.

You are incredible – thank you so much for your work in this! I can’t imagine how much time you, and your team, invest into these requests, but know that it is sincerely appreciated.
best regards,
-Matthew

You are most welcome Matthew.  Were it not for identification requests with excellent images, we would not have much of a site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination