Subject: Bug identified – Ichneumon wasp
Geographic location of the bug: California – Yolo County
Time: 10:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.” -Darwin
I recently asked about this insect I found in my laundry room. I thought it some type of crane fly at first, but the head was very different, no proboscis. Thought it pretty awesome that Darwin had mentioned it in a letter, makes me happy that he and I shared curiosity over the same insect.
How you want your letter signed: TobyG
You are correct that this is an Ichnuemon, more specifically a Short Tailed Ichneumon in the genus Ophion based on this BugGuide image, and not a Crane Fly. Though most Ichneumons cannot sting humans, it is our understanding that this particular genus is capable of stinging, and we suspect that the reports we have received of stinging Crane Flies are actually Ichneumons. We will be featuring you submission as our Bug of the Month for April 2018.