Subject: The Bingo Bug
October 10, 2012 6:41 pm
I found this wee creature hanging on the wall in my workplace, a bingo club. I’ve never seen anything like it at work, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it at all! Can you help me and my colleagues find out what it is?
Signature: Any way you’d like.
Dear Any way you’d like,
This is an Ichneumon parasitoid wasp. According to the Cornell University Department of Entomology Biological Control website: “Insect parasitoids have an immature life stage that develops on or within a single insect host, ultimately killing the host, hence the value of parasitoids as natural enemies. Adult parasitoids are free-living and may be predaceous. Parasitoids are often called parasites, but the term parasitoid is more technically correct. Most beneficial insect parasitoids are wasps or flies, although some rove beetles (see Predators) and other insects may have life stages that are parasitoids. Most insect parasitoids only attack a particular life stage of one or several related species. The immature parasitoid develops on or within a pest, feeding on body fluids and organs, eventually leaving the host to pupate or emerging as an adult. The life cycle of the pest and parasitoid can coincide, or that of the pest may be altered by the parasitoid to accommodate its development. The life cycle and reproductive habits of beneficial parasitoids can be complex. In some species, only one parasitoid will develop in or on each pest while, in others, hundreds of young larvae may develop within the pest host. Overwintering habits may also vary. Female parasitoids may also kill many pests by direct feeding on the pest eggs and immatures.”