Some sort of Sabre Wasp?
Location: Austin, Texas
November 20, 2010 11:53 pm
Found this little guy on my back porch in November in good old Austin Texas. Might have had wings, if it did, then they were straight with it’s back. It was about 2 inches long, and though it is hard to see, the tip of it’s tail (?) is white. Just wanted to know if you guys knew what it was and if it stings (so I can tell my children not to try and catch it). The picture attached is the same bug, just two pictures taken with a bad camera haha.
We did not kill this bug.
Thanks so much.
Signature: Have fun, Amelia B.

Crown of Thorns Wasp

Dear Amelia,
Sabre Wasp is a name used for Ichneumons in the U.K., though that name is not often used in North America.  Your wasp is a Stephanid Wasp in the family Stephanidae based on our research on BugGuide which indicates:  “Odd little wasps, resemble ichneumons.
”  BugGuide also notes that they are “Parasitoids of wood boring beetles and wasps.”  We do not believe they sting.  Like other parasitic hymenopterans with long ovipositors, though the organ resembles a stinger, it is quite specific to its function of laying eggs on or near the host.  We believe your individual is most likely the Crown of Thorns Wasp, Megischus bicolor, though your photos do not contain enough detail to be certain.  According to BugGuide:  “The ‘crown-of-thorns’ on the head is thought to help the adult emerge from its pupation site.

Location: texas

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