Subject: need help identifying this wasp
Geographic location of the bug: Occoquan NWR, Occoquan Virginia
Time: 08:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Once more I must ask for you excellent help. I cannot seem to find what species this attractive wasp is in any of my usual resources (including your wonderful site, of course!) Thanks very much in advance.
How you want your letter signed: Seth
This is a parasitoid wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, and according to BugGuide: “~5,000 described spp. in almost 500 genera in the Nearctic Region, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates. Those numbers mean that species identifications can be very challenging. Your individual looks very similar to Lymeon orbus based on this BugGuide image, but your individual lacks an ovipositor, making it a male, and your individual has a black band on the hind leg lacking in the images we have located of Lymeon orbus. So, we are certain that this is an Ichneumon Wasp, we are nearly certain it is a male, and beyond that, we need to defer to real experts. If you find any closer visual matches, please let us know.