Currently viewing the category: "Ichneumons"
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Subject: Insect Identification
Location: South East UK
October 20, 2014 10:54 am
Afternoon,
Found the attached against my curtains this evening
I literally have no idea what it is or what it could be and have been searching images for the last hour trying to find out
Wondering if you could let me know what it is and if it is native to the uk? i have never seen anything like this and i have lived here all my life (some 27 years)
Signature: Thank you in advance

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

This is some species of Ichneumon, a member of a family of parasitic wasps.  Ichneumons prey upon many agricultural pests and most Ichneumons are very host specific, preying upon a single species or genus, though some prey upon entire families of insects and arthropods.  Ichnuemons are a highly diverse family with many members, and we cannot say for certain if you have a native species.  Ichneumons are sometimes introduced to prey upon other introduced pests.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Spring Grove, Pa (south central PA)
September 24, 2014 5:25 pm
We found several of these in a pile of firewood in our backyard. They have bored many holes in the logs.
Signature: Michele

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Hi Michele,
This Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa is commonly called a Stump Stabber.  The female lays her eggs in wood that is infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps and the larval Stump Stabber parazitizes the larvae of the Wood Wasps.

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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

 

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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.

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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