What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp/Grasshopper Cross?
December 27, 2009
Hi Bugman,
I’m hoping you can help me identify this odd red bug. I’ve not seen one before and a cousin thinks it looks like a cross between a wasp and a grasshopper. Don’t know about that . . . anyway, it was very angry with me for bothering it and waved it’s antennae about wildly! I thought it best to leave it alone and hope I’ve gotten a good enough photo for you to be able to help identify. Thanks very much!
Anna Carreon
Hawthorne, California

Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

Hi Anna,
This is a Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp, probably in the genus Ophion.  They are solitary wasps that parasitize caterpillars, and they are important natural biological control species.  The ovipositor is short, and we have read reports that it might pierce human skin.  BugGuide has some information and photos.

Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

7 Responses to Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

  1. Judy says:

    Hi, I just got bit on my foot in bed. When I got up I saw this insect, which I have identified as an ichneumon wasp. It was pretty painful! So, yes they do sting!

  2. Steve says:

    Hi, I’ve been bit this morning in the shower (in the UK) by something that looks suspiciously like one. Are you still alive?

  3. vitor says:

    just killed one in portugal not risking getting stung

  4. Steve says:

    Wish I did. I had the chance because I saw it sitting on the mirror before I got into the shower. Then whilst in the shower, I feel a sting on my back, I reacted by swatting my back and it falls into the shower tray – smothered it with shampoo and flushed it down the plug hole. It’s not like I disturbed it, it just decided to take a bite.

  5. EKV says:

    I just casually reached out to rescue one that had landed on my computer screen, and as I cupped it in my hand, it stung me on my fingertip and it hurt like the dickens for several minutes. So now he’s still flying around my office somewhere, I’ll never sleep again.

  6. Deathbyjellybean says:

    I was stung by one recently, they’ve been hanging @ my front porch at night and one fell down the back of my sweater, stung me three or four times. Angry lil guy… or girl, i’ll report back if larvae ttry to eat me!

    BTW, Calamine took care of the pain. Sting was minor, less painful than a bee.

    Also, i’m leaving the accidental T in for dramatic effect.

  7. Jorge Rodriguez says:

    Just found one in our apartment in Salt Lake City, Utah. I figured it was a wasp of some kind, so we didn’t risk leaving it in the house. My wife accidentally injured it, but I took it outside anyway. Didn’t want to risk getting stung.

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