Bug of the Month: August 2007 – Giant Ichneumons

bug??? Hi,
I was wondering what kind of bug this is. There were at least 30 of them on the tree at once. I am located in Grand Rapids MI. Thank you soooo much for your time!

Megarhyssa atrata Megarhyssa macrurus

Hi Melissa,
You have submitted photos of two different species of Giant Ichneumons. The black specimen with the yellow head is Megarhyssa atrata and the brown and yellow individual is Megarhyssa macrurus. Giant Ichneumons are beneficial insects, though they are often mistaken for wood wasps upon which they feed. The adult female Giant Ichneumon uses her formidable ovipositor to deposit eggs in wood infested with wood boring larvae of the Pigeon Horntail and other Wood Wasps. The young Ichneumon parasites the wood boring larva. We have gotten so many images of Giant Ichneumons this summer we have decided to make it the Bug of the Month for August.

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