Subject:  Images of crane-fly-like-insect (probably Ichneumon?) that stung me
Geographic location of the bug:  Grants Pass, Oregon
Date: 06/03/2019
Time: 07:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there. A couple of weeks ago, when traveling through Ashland OR, I was surprised when something I thought was a harmless crane fly stung me! I was so surprised, having always been taught they are harmless, that I took the internet to look this up, and found your site. I added a comment to this thread: https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2017/04/08/stinging-crane-fly
A week later, in Grants Pass, OR, I saw this one sitting still on a wall and was able to get a picture. I can’t guarantee it’s the same thing that stung me, as I didn’t get to see this one flying, and I didn’t get to see the one that stung me sitting still. But it’s about the same size and look as the one that stung me. And this looks a lot more to me like the Ichneumon referenced in some of your posts about crane fly stings. It’s pretty clearly not a crane fly. I haven’t found anything that describes how the Ichneumon flies – but if it’s similar to a crane fly, then I bet this is what stung me.
How you want your letter signed:  Seneca

Ichneumon

Dear Seneca,
As your letter indicates, you cannot be certain this was the insect that stung you, but it is an Ichneumon and it is easy to see why it might be confused with a Crane Fly.  We have also always learned that Crane Flies are harmless and they neither sting nor bite, but we keep getting submissions to the contrary, including a very convincing letter that included both the Crane Fly and the “sting”.

Thank you so much for your reply!
I’m really glad to be learning more about these insects.
Do you know if the Ichneumon flies awkwardly about much like a crane fly?
I never knew there was an insect that could sting that looked and flew so much like a crane fly.
This one had come into our camper van attracted to the light and flitting about and I just assumed it was harmless and cupped it gently in my hands to put it out.
Now I know to be more careful!
I should probably know better than to assume anything anyway. There’s so much I don’t know about so many things.

Hi again Seneca,
Crane Flies have a much more gangly and awkward flight.

Location: Grants Pass, Oregon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *