Subject: Unknown wasp species?
Location: Shenandoah National Park (Madison, VA)
March 16, 2014 9:50 am
Hi there – we ran across this guy in the Shenandoah National Park in the state of Virginia, very near a small mountain stream. We tried to look around on the computer, but couldn’t find a definitive answer and the curiosity is pretty intense now ;). Any folks out there know what this is?
Signature: Curious Virginian
Dear Curious Virginian,
The best we can provide for you at this time is a family name. This is an Ichneumon Wasp in the family Ichneumonidae. According to BugGuide, there are: “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.” Even if we were able to locate a similar looking individual by browsing through BugGuide, it would most likely require an expert to definitively determine the correct species.