Unknown possible bee?
May 28, 2010
I found this bug in my kitchen on a wooded mountain in northern Maryland a few evenings ago. It has transparent folded wings that aren’t visible in the picture. It’s between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch long. Its patterns are very beautiful and have great contrast, and it has a small black eye surrounded by white on each side of its head as well as black and white stripes on a sort of yellowish body. I’ve never seen this bug before that I remember. I’m really not sure what it is. I’d appreciate any info. you could offer.
Thanks so much!
This is an Ichneumon Wasp, and we believe we have identified it as Messatoporus discoidalis on BugGuide, though Ichneumons are notoriously difficult to identify. Ichneumons are parasitoid wasps, and according to BugGuide, depending upon the species, their prey includes: “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.” If our identification is correct, your Ichneumon is in the tribe Cryptini, and according to BugGuide: “Cryptini search for hosts primarily among foliage (rather than in the soil or ground litter) and have larger average size.“