What’s THIS bug?
This bug appeared on my desk tonight and we’ve never seen one like this before. What made me take notice of it most was the white midsection on the dark coloured antennae. I apologize for the quality of the photos but our digital camera won’t take good closeups. This is the best I could do. One photo was taken while the bug was sitting on a white envelope and the other two were taken with it sitting on the beige wallpaper. The bug is about an inch long if you count in the antennae. He flies from one light to another or sits on the wall next to the light. I’d appreciate knowing what it is. I looked on your website but, not knowing what type of bug to look up, I’d have to look at every listing there. Since I have dialup and not high speed, that would take forever. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. I hope this thing doesn’t bite because we’ve chosen to let him fly free. If he lands on me, I may change my mind on that though!
Fredericton, New Brunswick
This is an Ichneumon. Ichneumons are an important group of insects that parasitize caterpillars, wood boring insects, aphids and others. Ichneumons are related to wasps, but they do not sting. BugGuide has identified your group of Ichneumons in a very general sense according to color: Black/White w Orange legs, Dot on Back, White on Antennae. BugGuide also indicates that Ichneumonidae is: “One of the largest families of insects with over 3100 species in North America (60,000 worldwide). The majority resemble slender wasps. They differ from the wasps that sting (Scolioidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea) in that they have the antennae longer and with more segments usually 16 or more). In many ichneumons the ovipositor is quite long, often longer than the body. It is divided into 24 or 35 subfamilies depending on different authors.. Many Ichneumons are of value in the control of noxious insects. “