Currently viewing the category: "Parasitic Hymenopterans"

Subject:  Strange insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Grain Valley MO
Date: 10/02/2021
Time: 02:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We were coming home from independence we live in in grain valley this was on our windshield
How you want your letter signed:  Lisa Gerlt

Giant Ichneumon

Dear Lisa,
This is a Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurus.  Because of the long ovipositor which the female uses to lay eggs beneath the bark of deciduous trees infested with wood boring larvae, they are sometimes called Stump Stabbers.  You can read more about this parasitoid wasp on BugGuide.

Subject:  Insect That has Taken South Central Alaska by Storm
Geographic location of the bug:  Anchorage Alaska
Date: 09/19/2021
Time: 12:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am looking to ID this insect. They seem to be appearing everywhere over the last two weeks in Anchorage AK. This particular specimen may have a missing leg, but most do not. It seems similar to wood wasps I have seen before, but is smaller at ~1” long. Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Scott P

Ichneumon we believe

Dear Scott,
We believe this is an Ichneumon, a parasitoid wasp, or possibly a Braconid, also a parasitoid wasp, and both are in the superfamily Ichneumonoidea, which is according to BugGuide:  “A very biodiverse and important group. Many are valuable biocontrol agents that control populations of agricultural and forest pest insects. Wasplike in appearance, but (with rare exceptions) do not sting. “

Subject:  Paper Wasps
Geographic location of the bug:  Chesapeake, VA
Date: 09/08/2021
Time: 10:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman!
Some resourceful paper wasps have taken advantage of the gap in the screen of our daughter’s bedroom window.  She was initially afraid of them but we are using the nest as a teaching tool since they’ll likely be gone once winter hits.  The nest has really grown since they moved in, and it’s so interesting to watch.  She is four and loves the “bugs that make the paper”.
It’s interesting to see their antennas reach toward the window when we open the blinds, but beyond that, they don’t seem to be phased by our presence.
How you want your letter signed:  S Reyman

Paper Wasp Nest

Dear S Reyman,
Thanks for sending in your image of a Paper Wasp nest and your plan for using its development as a teaching tool. We believe these are introduced European Paper Wasps which are pictured on BugGuide.

Paper Wasps

Subject:  Insect Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Canakkale Province, Turkey
Date: 08/10/2021
Time: 05:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This insect has been collected in Sorghum crop field and it is needed the identification of this insect species. Moreover, the attached pictures are original and taken from my Samsung S5 mobile phone under open field conditions of the Çanakkale Province Turkey. Thanks in advance for this insect identification. Regards.
How you want your letter signed:  Dr. Baboo Ali

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Dr. Baboo Ali,
This is a Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp, a parasitic wasp that preys upon a specific plant feeding species or genus or possibly family of insects.  You have requested an identification, but interestingly, all three of your attached images which have lengthy file names also include this information:  “
Ophion_Arı_Erkek_Edited_2021.07.12″.  What we find most interesting is that the genus name for a group of Short Tailed Ichneumons is actually Ophion and that word is in your file name.  Of the genus Ophion, BugGuide, a North American insect identification website states:  “Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars”  and “Adult Ophion species will hunt for their host caterpillar. Usually one egg is laid per host. Caterpillar usually dies during pupal stage though wasp larva remains to pupate itself.”  So, if your concern is the sorghum crop, this is a beneficial insect that is most likely hunting caterpillars that feed on the sorghum.

Subject:  Ichneumon
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 08/02/2021
Time: 8:46 AM EDT
Gentle Readers,
Daniel has been taking many images of interesting creatures using his magicphone (his first cellular telephone ever which he has had for the past year) because the iPhone pro has a marvelous camera.  Last week one morning while enjoying coffee in the garden, Daniel spotted this parasitic wasp, presumably an Ichneumon, preening on the tip of a blade of grass, so he picked the blade of grass to get a better look.  He realized by the preening he observed that this was probably a newly emerged wasp that had not yet flown.  It seemed it was checking out its new sensory organs, the antennae, and Daniel observed for about a half an hour before it finally flew off.  Ichneumon Wasps and their relatives the Braconids and the Chalcids are all interesting parasitic wasps that often prey on a single species.



Subject:  Identify bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Leicestershire, UK
Date: 07/16/2021
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was flying around my room at night, I thought it was a daddy long longs and grasped it in two hands. After a couple seconds, it “stung” me as I felt a very sharp prick on my hand.
As I closed it into just one hand to open the window, i felt another very sharp prick – so much so that I quickly released it to move away.
The pain continued in both areas for a fair few minutes and after trapping it in a glass, I managed to take a few pictures before releasing it.
It’s about the size of a daddy long legs, but is red with a “sting” on the end (where it is black) and “spikes” on its legs.  I’ve never seen it before, let alone have one mildly hurt me.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Jack


Dear Jack,
This is a parasitoid Ichneumon Wasp, and there are some species that are capable of stinging as you have learned first-hand.  Of the species pictured on the Natural History Museum Beginner’s Guide to Identifying British Ichneumonids, we believe it looks most like
Callajoppa exaltatoria, which is also pictured on Ukranian Biodiversity Information Network.  Though the coloration is similar to your individual, we do not believe they are the same species as other anatomical features appear different.  Ichneumons can be very difficult to identify with certainty.