Bug on my window
Location: Chicago, IL (downtown)
April 8, 2012 6:59 pm
I live on the 19th floor of my apartment building in downtown Chicago. I saw this bug on my window and decided it was best not to open the window given that I have no screens. Is this thing venomous? Do you know what it is?
This is a species of parasitic Wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, a large family whose members are known as Ichnuemons or Ichneumon Wasps. The female is identified by her long ovipositor, an organ that has been adapted into a stinger in many species of bees and wasps, though most species of Ichneumons are not capable of stinging humans. The ovipositor in Ichneumons is used to deposit eggs in or near the bodies of the host prey for the larva, and in the case of the Stump Stabbers that have an ovipositor as long as five inches, this involves drilling into dead and dying wood to locate the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps, their sole host. Ichneumons can be very difficult to identify to the species level, but we believe your species might be Coleocentrus rufus which we found on BugGuide. The genus page for Coleocentrus rufus on BugGuide states: “hosts unknown for most NA spp. (a lepturine reported for C. flavipes),” and that may mean that the host for your species is also a wood boring beetle larva in the Longhorned Borer family Cerambycidae, subfamily Lepturinae.