Long tailed wasp
I tried looking on your site earlier today and couldn’t identify this. My mom spent a bit more time on the site and was able to identify this bug as a type of wasp. What we’re wondering is what it was doing. It kept flipping its body up over its head and holding on to the long tail with its back legs, then pulling. It was doing this for hours. It looked like the wasp was trying to pull the tail off! Do they do this?
The Demeritt Family
Hi Demeritt Family,
We can’t imagine how you missed the photo of the Giant Ichneumon on our homepage. This is Megarhyssa atrata, a female. The long tail is an ovipositor that the female uses to lay eggs deep inside rotting wood of trees. Such wood is often infested by wood boring grubs, especially those of the Pigeon Horntail, and those grubs are the food for the young larval Ichneumon. The odd thing about your photo is that the Ichneumon is trying to lay eggs in wooden siding. Perhaps you have a grub infestation.