Currently viewing the category: "Ichneumons"
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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: 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.

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Subject: Scary looking tail end…
Location: Northern IL
July 25, 2015 3:42 pm
Dear Bugman,
I just finished reading your book and never would have imagined that I would enjoy a book about bugs so much! Then lo and behold, I have an opportunity to submit a bug question. We are in northern Illinois and this scary looking critter just appeared on our window screen. Can you please tell me what it is?
Signature: JP

Giant Ichneumon

Giant Ichneumon

Dear JP,
How nice to hear you enjoyed Daniel’s book.  This fascinating creature is a Giant Ichneumon, sometimes called a Stump Stabber, in the genus
Megarhyssa.  We believe your individual, because of both the patterns in the wings and the striped abdomen, is Megarhyssa macrurus, and you may compare to this image on BugGuide.  The Giant Ichneumons prey upon Horntails or Wood Wasps, including the Pigeon Horntail.  The long ovipositor of the Stump Stabber is required to correctly deposit eggs into branches infested with larval Wood Wasps.

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Subject: What is this
Location: Winnipeg mb canada
June 5, 2015 4:41 pm
What is this thing I accidentally stepped on
Signature: Kayla

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Kayla,
This very distinctly marked parasitic Ichneumon is
Rhyssa lineolata, which you can verify on BugGuide.  We wonder how many times you are going to refer to the dictionary with this information on the feeding habits that are posted on BugGuide:  “idiobiont ectoparasitoids of the immature wood-boring endopterygote insects, in our area usually larval woodwasps (Siricidae and Xiphydriidae), but may also develop as facultative hyperparasitoids using other woodwasp parasitoids as hosts or on virtually any endopterygote (some have even been cultured in the laboratory on entirely unnatural surrogate hosts).” 

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Subject: Dragonfly/Yellow Jacket
Location: Pembroke, ON.
June 2, 2015 8:26 am
A friend of mine spotted this interesting insect on the side of a home the other day in Pembroke, ON. I don’t really have too many details, However, I do have an image! They’re calling it a “Dragonbee”
Signature: However

Male Stumpstabber

Male Stumpstabber

Dear However,
As much as we like the name “Dragonbee”, we are not ready to promote it as an alternate name for this male Stump Stabber, though one would probably never attribute that name to the male of a
Megarhyssa species.  The name is quite apt for the female Stump Stabber which actually stabs stumps with her long ovipositor while laying eggs that will eventually parasitize a larval Wood Wasp. We believe your Stump Stabber is Megarhyssa macrurus, based on images posted to BugGuide and the listed range data there.

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Subject: Pacific Northwest Ichneumon
Location: Renton, WA
May 28, 2015 4:28 pm
I’ve been seeing about 50 of these guys parade my front and back yard over the grass areas. They do not seem to be harmful, and only hover over the grass areas. I did research and came across your website to find out it’s an “ichneumon wasp” according to Eric Eaton on another post. Would you happen to know where they nest or why they’re parading my lawn areas for? At first they looked like yellow jackets, but their bodies are much too skinny and orange to be. The pics I’ll include are from a few days ago. Any info would be great. Thanks.
Signature: Stephanie

Unknown Ichneumon

Unknown Ichneumon

Hi Stephanie,
We noticed your comment on the other Ichneumon posting, and we still are not able to provide a species identification for this Ichneumon.  Ichneumon Wasps do not build a nest.  They are parasitoids of a variety of insects and arthropods, and they are generally very host specific.  The female lays an egg on a host, or sometimes she uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs within the host.  The larvae then feed on the still living host.  Again, Ichneumons are not social wasps, but they are very important natural, biological controls for other insect populations, hence they are beneficial.  Most Ichneumons are perfectly harmless to humans, though members of the genus
Ophion are known to sting, but they are still not considered harmful to humans.

Unknown Ichneumon

Unknown Ichneumon

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