December 27, 2009
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!
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.