XL Gold Colored Flying Six-legged Black Tail Bug
September 20, 2009
I was startled, thrown back, shocked and subsequently frozen in my driver’s seat after I saw an insect on my windshield today that I have never seen before. It took me a second to gather myself and try to surmise whether the bug was inside the car or out. Once I gathered that I was safe as the bug was stuck to the outside of the windshield, I pulled over the side of the road to contend with the unknown beast at hand. I took a couple of pictures. The bug was about 5 inches long, excluding the long black antenna looking tail. It was gold/light brown colored, and it had wings. I believe that it had six legs.
Homewood, IL (Northwest Illinois)
Dear Freaked Out,
We love your chilling first hand account of your encounter with a Giant Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa. We want to allay your fears and assure you that the Giant Ichneumon will not harm you. What appears to be a stinger is the female’s ovipositor. She deposits eggs under the bark of trees infested with wood boring larvae. The larval Giant Ichneumon parasitizes the wood boring larvae.
Thank you for taking the time to reply, and to reply so promptly, to my identification request. This is very interesting information that you shared. Upon your identification, I went online and did more research. I came across an excerpt that said Charles Darwin was amazed by these creatures as well. That long black ovipositor is frightening in appearance.
All the best to you,