Subject: Pacific Northwest Ichneumon
Location: Renton, WA
May 28, 2015 4:28 pm
I’ve been seeing about 50 of these guys parade my front and back yard over the grass areas. They do not seem to be harmful, and only hover over the grass areas. I did research and came across your website to find out it’s an “ichneumon wasp” according to Eric Eaton on another post. Would you happen to know where they nest or why they’re parading my lawn areas for? At first they looked like yellow jackets, but their bodies are much too skinny and orange to be. The pics I’ll include are from a few days ago. Any info would be great. Thanks.
We noticed your comment on the other Ichneumon posting, and we still are not able to provide a species identification for this Ichneumon. Ichneumon Wasps do not build a nest. They are parasitoids of a variety of insects and arthropods, and they are generally very host specific. The female lays an egg on a host, or sometimes she uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs within the host. The larvae then feed on the still living host. Again, Ichneumons are not social wasps, but they are very important natural, biological controls for other insect populations, hence they are beneficial. Most Ichneumons are perfectly harmless to humans, though members of the genus Ophion are known to sting, but they are still not considered harmful to humans.