Subject: Redhead with white tip on tail
Location: Sabang, Palawan, Philippines
February 1, 2016 2:43 am
Hi, we saw this strange bug in remnant of tropical rainforest in Palawan, Philippines. Any ideas what it is?
Signature: Lyn and Andrew
Dear Lyn and Andrew,
This really is an unusual looking insect, and though we are unable to provide you with a species identity, we can tell you it is a Parasitic Hymenopteran, possibly a member of the family Braconidae, the Braconid Wasps or the family Ichneumonidae, the Ichneumon Wasps. We will continue to try to research its identity and perhaps we will get some assistance from our readership. The bright red head is very distinctive, and the white tipped tail is actually the ovipositor the female uses to lay her eggs. Parasitic Hymenopterans prey upon a vast array of insects, including butterflies, moths, cockroaches spiders, often attacking the immature stages like eggs, larvae and pupae.
Many thanks Daniel. I kept researching myself – ? gasteruptidae? Thoughts? Lyn
Hi again Lyn,
The general shape of a Carrot Wasp in the family Gasteruptidae looks very close, but we cannot find any images with such a distinctive red head.
Update: Stephanid Wasp
We received a comment informing us that this wasp is in the family Stephanidae, and we have members of the family in our archives from North America that are called Crown of Thorns Wasps. The submitted image looks very similar to images of the Crown Wasp, Megischus insularis, that are posted on Nature Love You.