What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Another Australian Flying Bug
February 11, 2010
Another Australian Flying Bug
• Your letter to the bugman    Hello again, Bugman
I’ve been trying to identify this one, but I’m not sure if it’s a fly or something else.
Ridou Ridou
Sydney, Australia

Orchid Dupe Wasp from Australia

Hi again Ridou,
This is not a fly, but rather, a Hymenopteran, a member of the order that consists of Ants, Bees and Wasps.  We believe this is Brachonid, a parasitic wasp that can be identified in part through the long and slender antennae.  Braconids are quite similar to Ichneumons, another possibility.  We have not had any luck finding a matching photo, and we will continue to search.  There are some beautiful Braconids posted on the Brisbane Insect website, but none that match your specimen.

Thanks Daniel, I think you’re right. Apparently there’re about 800 species of Braconid (or Brachonid) in Australia! I found this site (this is the google cached version of it, since the actual page didn’t load) with a drawing of a similar species to mine:
74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:UmIoSwzWsWEJ:www.faunanet.gov.au/wos/factfile.cfm%3FFact_ID%3D232+Brachonid&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

Hi Ridou,
We couldn’t get your link to work, but we did find images of both Braconids and Ichneumons on the Life Unseen Website.  We now believe your wasp is an Orange Dupe Wasp, Lissopimpla excelsa, one of the Ichneumons.  One photo in particular looks identical to your specimen.  The Oz Insects website calls this species the Orchid Dupe, and indicates:  “The Orchid Dupe Wasp is a medium sized wasp with mainly orange body and dark wings. The abdomen has broad black band with four white spots on each side. The long thin antennae curl upwards at the ends. Females have a stout black ovipositor that is about half the body length. It is called the Orchid Dupe because some species of orchids mimic the odour and appearance of female Lissopimpla wasps. The male Lissopimpla wasps mistake the flowers for females pollinating the orchid.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Australia

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