What the hell is this?
Location: Adelaide, Australia
November 19, 2010 12:01 am
I’m thinking a wasp of some kind, but I cant find anything about it on the internet. Picture is kinda poor, but best I could get. It is rather big for an insect. Long, slender, black body. Big wings. Two long things that look like stingers. Very long antennae. Lets off a very strong and strange smell when threatened. Very loud when flying around. Body is extremely hard, extremely difficult to kill. Seriously, I squashed this thing last night and come back to it today and it is still moving. I find one or two of these things in my house about every six months or so.
Your photo is quite blurry, so we cannot be certain, but we believe this is some species of Ichneumon, a group of insects in the order that includes wasps and bees. Ichneumons are parasitoids and the female lays her eggs on or near the prey. Larval Ichneumons are internal parasites that eventually kill the prey. Many Ichneumons prey upon caterpillars, but depending upon the species, they have a wide variety of insect and spider hosts. Ichneumons do not pose a danger to humans. We could not find a close match on the Insects of Brisbane website Ichneumon page, but the antennae on your specimen are a primary factor in our tentative identification.
Karl provides another identification
Hi Daniel and Scott:
It looks like a Cream-spotted Ichneumon (Echthromorpha intricatoria). The species is found all over Australia and has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is known as the Whitespotted Ichneumon. The larvae are parasitic on the pupae of a variety of butterflies and moths. Regards. Karl