Currently viewing the category: "Ichneumons"
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Subject: Tan flying bug
Location: Central New Jersey, United States
August 26, 2014 6:55 pm
The big just bit my wife. She is pregnant. Should I be concerened? It’s August (obviously) and hot out.
Signature: Mike

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Hi Mike,
This looks like a parasitic wasp known as an Ichneumon to us, and we believe she was stung, not bitten.  We don’t believe there is any cause for concern, but we are not medical professionals nor are we entomologists, so if you have any doubts, we would urge a visit to the doctor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified wasp?
Location: Fannie, Ark.
August 25, 2014 8:57 am
Found and photographed a couple of days ago in Montgomery County, Arkansas. I think its a wasp but would like to know what kind. Thank you.
Signature: Bill Burton

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Bill,
We believe this is a Parasitic Wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, a large and diverse family.  According to BugGuide:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.”  It looks very similar to this image of
Saranaca elegans posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the larval food is the caterpillar of “Darapsa myron”, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx is found in Arkansas.  We may be way off base with the species, but we are confident that we have at least gotten the family identification correct.

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Freaked out mom
Location: Maryland/Pennsylvania
August 11, 2014 3:03 pm
Found this bug up at grandpas farm. Wondering what it is worried if it stings the kids. Found it a few weeks ago hanging around the dead walnut tree.
Signature: Concerned

Stump Stabber laying eggs

Stump Stabber laying eggs

Dear Concerned,
This is a female Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa, commonly called a Stump Stabber.  She is in the process of laying eggs.  Stump Stabbers are not aggressive towards humans.  The eggs layed beneath the bark will parasitize the larvae of Wood Wasps that are feeding on the dead or dying tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange wasp? Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, MA
July 21, 2014 5:56 am
My niece was in Cape Cod last year and couldn’t identify what this (wasp?) is. I’ve never seen anything like it. She asked several scientists that were there too and they couldn’t either. I don’t know if any were entomologists. It was just hanging out on a picnic table I believe.
Signature: Joe

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Hi Joe,
We sincerely doubt that any of the scientists were entomologists, because even those that specialize in other insect orders should recognize a Giant Ichneumon or Stump Stabber in the genus
Megarhyssa.  Despite the formidable looking ovipositor, Giant Ichneumons are not aggressive and they are not capable of stinging humans.  With that stated, the ovipositor is used by the female to lay eggs beneath the surface of dead and dying trees and stumps that contain the wood boring larvae of Horntails and Woodwasps, so it might be possible for the ovipositor to pierce human skin, though we think it is highly unlikely for a Stump Stabber to mistake a human limb for an infested tree.  Several members of the genus look very similar, so we are reluctant to attempt a species identification.  Another distinctive member of the genus, Megarhyssa atrata, is our featured Bug of the Month for July 2014.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: hamilton michigan united states
July 19, 2014 4:16 pm
This bug flew into our window when we drove into town …Kind of scary looking! what is it and should we be concerned?
Signature: Tammy Davis

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Hi Tammy,
This Giant Ichneumon,
Megarhyssa atrata, is commonly called a Stump Stabber.  The female of the species possesses an ovipositor that can approach five inches in length which she uses to deposit her eggs deep beneath the surface of trees and stumps that are infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps like the Pigeon Horntail.  The larval Stump Stabber feeds on the Horntail larva and then pupates, emerging from the stump as a winged adult.  Male Stump Stabbers which lack the ovipositor, can sense the emergence of a female through the release of pheromones and will congregate and await her coming to the surface in order to mate.  You have nothing to fear from the Stump Stabber unless a female mistakes an arm or leg for an infested log.  Wasps do have mandibles, and since both male and female Stump Stabbers must chew their way to the surface of the stump they developed in, they might also bite a person, but we do not believe such a bite would hurt or cause any problem.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Slow flying wasp/dragonfly hybrid?
Location: Sammamish, WA
July 14, 2014 4:19 pm
Dear Bugman, we found this flying beauty in iut kitchen today. He/She is approx 2.5″ long in the body with slightly smaller wingspan and a 3″ long stingy stinger looking thing hanging from its rear end. Very beautiful and flies rather slow. Body is black and white with clear wings and bright orangish yellow legs (long and lanky legs with interesting joints). We contained it long enough to take a few photos and some video then let it free outside. Any guess on what it is- I’ve never seen one before?
Signature: The Joyce family

Ichneumon:  Rhyssa lineolata

Ichneumon: Rhyssa lineolata

Dear Joyce family,
This is a Parasitic Ichneumon Wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, and according to BugGuide, there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.”  We believe we have correctly identified your Ichneumon as
Rhyssa lineolata based on this image posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination