Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 9:11 AM
This was taken at night in Ontario Canada while camping at a provincial park.
We have a sneaking suspicion that this observation did not happen while camping this week. These are Giant Ichneumons in the genus Megarhyssa, most likely Megarhyssa macrurus. Giant Ichneumons are related to Wasps since they are in the same insect order, but they are in a different family. These are females and they are ovipositing. Giant Ichneumons are parasitic on the larva of wood boring insects, especially the Pigeon Horntail. The female Giant Ichneumon locates the tunnel of one of the wood boring larvae and uses her nearly five inch long ovipositor to deposit an egg deep inside the infested tree.