Subject: Random Washington bug… I guess
Location: Western Washington
March 10, 2015 9:38 pm
So sometime this last late fall/early winter was the first time I saw this bug. later it they started appearing whenever we would leave the door or a window open. My moms first reaction was to kill it so it took a while for me to even be able to catch one. when i caught the one in the photo I couldn’t get a clear photo of it. so i released it in the bathroom and took a few pictures of it then opened the window. when i looked back at the bug it was gone. i found it like a few mins later on the sink ether paralyzed or dead don’t really know which cause my mom found it before i could get another thing to hold it in and she killed it -_-
This is a parasitic wasp known as an Ichneumon. For many years we thought that Ichneumons were incapable of stinging humans, but we later learned that one particular group of Ichneumons in the genus Ophion can sting. According to Nature.com: “while Ophion is one of the few Ichneumonidæ which are known to sting, and while a small, narrow poison sac has been detected in a few species of that immense family, none has been recorded in Ophion luteus. But whereas the sting is followed in every instance by considerable inflammation and pain, such as would not be the effect of the mere stab of a needle, it seems almost certain that some irritant is injected into the wound, possibly for the purpose of paralysing the fly’s legitimate victim, as in the case of the hunting-wasps.” According to BugGuide: “They are often attracted to artificial lights.” We believe your Ichneumon is in the genus Ophion. We have tried unsuccessfully to convince folks that Crane Flies do NOT sting, and we believe they have been mistaking these Ichneumons for Crane Flies.