Subject: Gorgeous Giant Ichneumon Megarhyssa
Location: Jonesboro, AR, USA
November 19, 2014 6:29 pm
I found this lovely lady on my back porch today. We have had freezing temperatures lately and though it reached almost 50 degrees, I think she was pretty frigid. She was pretty easy to scoop up in some Tupperware. After some research I discovered she was harmless and about this time she warmed enough to begin trying to use her ovipositor on my Tupperware. Obviously, she never succeeded, but a couple of times she even tried beginning ‘unzipping’ her abdomen to begin laying eggs. Alas, she couldn’t figure out how to bore into plastic though so eventually gave up. I hope she was able to finish the process outside in spite of the dropping temperatures. I have seen many Ichneumon in our area, but never her particular species. I couldn’t get a good shot of the ruler, but from antenna to ovipositor she was about 5 inches.
Signature: Heather Buckholtz
A female Giant Ichneumon or Stump Stabber is an fearsome looking, yet harmless parasitic wasp. Other than Megarhyssa atrata, we are reluctant to attempt a species identification on members of the genus.