Subject: Strange bug with long sting
Location: Hungary, Fót
May 20, 2014 6:27 am
Dear Bugman!
I have found this strange bug in my friend’s house in Fót, a small town near Budapest the capital of Hungary.
Sadly he has killed it, and took it’s head off for it to not suffer.
He was scared that it might be a tropical mosquito which came with a shipment of bananas.
Could you please tell me, what kind of bug is this, and if it’s any dangerous?
Signature: Tom



Dear Tom,
This is a parasitic wasp, most likely an Ichneumon, and though it is quite frightening, Ichneumons are not aggressive and they do not attempt to sting humans.  What appears to be a stinger is actually an ovipositor, an organ that has evolved so that the female can deposit her eggs where they will hatch and the developing larva will have access to a food supply.  Your individual resembles the North American Stump Stabbers in the genus
Megarhyssa, and the female wasp uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs in stumps and branches that are infested with wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps known as Pigeon Horntails as the larvae of the Pigeon Horntail is the sole food of the larvae of the Stump Stabber.  Your Ichneumon looks very similar to this Perithous species that is pictured on FlickR.  Alas, the folks who post to FlickR never seem to provide a location for their images.

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Location: Fót, Hungary

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