Wasp Style Insect Found in Ohio
July 27, 2009
Hello – Unfortunately I am not much of a bug expert, just a long distance boyfriend trying to see if my girlfriend and our new puppy have to be worried about getting stung by this bugger (no pun intended… well.. maybe a little)
This guy was found in a wooded area in a residential district surrounded by homes and larger lawns. They are usually found clumped together in groups of 4 to 5, and are not always active. When the pictures were taken they were barely stirred and did not fly around a lot at all. The biggest feature, although hard to see in the photos, is a whip-tail looking stinger perhaps that is honestly longer than the body, curling under the length of the insect. Please check the photos for more information. A name/identifier and any dangers it could cause to smaller animals would be great.
Cheers, Ryan L Montgomery, USAF
Your guy is a gal and she is a Giant Ichneumon, Megarhyssa atrata. Though she is related to wasps, she is incapable of stinging, so she is harmless. What appears to be a giant stinger is actually the ovipositor which the female Ichneumon uses to deposit her eggs inside dead or dying wood where the larval food, wood boring larvae, can be found. Ichneumons are considered parasitic Hymenopterans.