Giant Ichneumon in New Jersey
Location: Newton, New Jersey
July 20, 2010 6:50 pm
From a distance, I thought this was a dragonfly holding its wings in a funny position…then I saw the ovipositor, twice the length of the body. Is this a giant ichneumon, Megarhyssa nortoni? This is a first for me. It is resting on a grape leaf, near a rotting stump (perhaps after laying eggs?).
Northwestern New Jersey; photo taken July 20, 2010.
You are correct that this is a Giant Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa, but we get a little murky at the species level. We think that there is a very good possibility that your Giant Ichneumon is Megarhyssa nortoni, but we would also not discount Megarhyssa macrurus. According to BugGuide, the range of Megarhyssa macrurus includes New Jersey, and the range of Megarhyssa nortoni includes nearby Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Your photos are all so great we have decided to post all three.