Subject: Backyard Wasp
Location: West Virginia
June 9, 2014 8:42 pm
Can you please help identify this bug? Thank you!
Signature: Bob Escargot
What a wonderful image you have provided. These are male Giant Ichneumons in the genus Megarhyssa, and females of the genus are commonly called Stump Stabbers because of the way they use a lengthy ovipositor, sometimes as long as five inches, to lay eggs beneath the surface of dead or dying trees or branches. That wood is infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps like the Pigeon Horntail, and the larval Ichneumons feed on the larval Wood Wasps. We believe these males are awaiting the emergence of a virgin female who has begun to release pheromones as she makes her way back to the surface so that they can mate.