Beetle? Fly? Wasp?
Location: Radcliffe, Lancashire, NW UK.
June 30, 2011 11:18 am
Hi, I have today found an insect and I have no clue what it is. Dimensions are included on one of the pictures. I have performed a search online but can find nothing like it, the closest in terms of shape would be the Snake Fly. 30/06/2011, weather slightly breezy, intermittent clouds/sun and 16 degrees celsius.
Many thanks for your help,
This is a Parasitoid Wasp known as an Ichneumon. The closest match on the Bugs and Weeds website is identified as Ichneumon suspiciosus agg. and this is the information that is provided: “Like many Ichneumon species, this is a member of an aggregate group of very similar looking species (hence the ‘agg.’ suffix) that cannot be definitively identified without recourse to close microscopic scrutiny. The yellow and black banded antennae and legs and an overall length of 15mm (excluding antennae) suggests that it might possibly be Ich. suspiciosus – or something similar! It is an endoparasite of moth larvae. That is, the adult female ichneumon inserts an egg under the skin of a caterpillar and the resultant wasp larva will slowly develop internally within the caterpillar until the caterpillar enters pupation. The parasite will then enter its own pupation and, on completion of its metamorphosis, will be the sole adult insect to emerge. This will take place in summer or autumn and the emergent adult will hibernate throughout the winter to fly again in spring coincident with the emegence of adult moths and the next generation of their caterpillars.” UK Safari also has a photo. Your individual is black and white, but it looks very similar. We suspect it is a closely related species. It should be noted that Ichneumons can be very difficult to accurately identify to the species level. The ISpot website has a very close match that is not identified.