Subject: Unknown flying insect Australia
Location: Melbourne, Australia
February 13, 2013 6:31 pm
I don’t want to overload you guys with questions, so I hope this second bug in as many days isn’t too much. I used to see these things all over the place in summer, but now they’ve become reasonably rare around here. I tried searching for it on the ’Down Under’ tag, but it doesn’t seem to exist in the first 60 pages.
The females of this insect seem to have massive ovipositors, but that’s about all I know of them, besides a happy affinity to spend all day flying hopelessly against glass windows.
Even if you don’t get around to looking at this, thanks very much for the site — you’ve done a great job with it.
Signature: Thanks, Tasha
This appears to us to be an Ichneumon, a type of Parasitic Wasp. Sorry, no time right not for additional research.
Thank you for your fast response. If you do have time at a later point, I would be very interested to know what it’s parasitic to. Otherwise, thank you very much for your time, and I hope things go well for you!
Hi again Tasha,
Without knowing the species of Ichneumon, it would be impossible to determine the host. According to the North American website BugGuide, they feed upon: “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.” Some common host insects include caterpillars, beetles and the larvae of wood boring wasps.
Thank you again,
Now that I know what to look for, I think it’s the Orange Caterpillar Parasite — Netelia Producta. It seems most prevalent in Queensland (which is probably why trawling for ‘orange wasp Victoria’ didn’t help), but it appears it can come this far south, after I found record of a few sightings of it in Melbourne.
Have a wonderful time, and keep up the great work on the site,