Subject: Longhorn Ant?
Location: Southern New Jersey
January 11, 2013 2:19 am
Ok, this one has me stumped. I spotted this inside the house on Nov. 25 and I cannot remember seeing anything similar to it before. I’m not even sure whether to call it an ant, ground wasp or other. The insect is about 1/2 inch long and walked in an ant-like fashion.
Signature: Wileyscott

Female Ichneumon: Gelis species

Dear Wileyscott,
We deduced because of the stinger and the antennae that this was a female Parasitoid Wasp, most likely an Ichneumon, and we were correct.  Upon researching, we matched your image to this photo of a
Gelis species female on BugGuideBugGuide notes that there are over 82 species in the genus in North America, and in our opinion, they look very much alike.  BugGuide also notes:  “Many species of Gelis are wingless. Habits are diverse. Many are external parasites of Lepidoptera in cocoons, others are parasitic on Symphyta, spiders, Diptera larvae and pupae, or wood-boring Coleoptera larvae. Many are Hyperparasites.”  Ichneumons, Wasps and Ants are all in the same Order, Hymenoptera.

Thank you! I am familiar with Ichneumon at least by name, but I was unaware there were wingless varieties.

Location: New Jersey

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