Currently viewing the category: "Parasitic Hymenopterans"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Please tell me what this is
Geographic location of the bug:  NJ
Date: 09/20/2017
Time: 10:01 PM EDT
Can you please tell me what this is, and please tell me it isn’t dangerous?
How you want your letter signed:  J25

Ichneumon, we believe

Dear J25,
We believe this is an Ichneumon, but we would not eliminate the possibility that it might be the other family within Ichneumonoidea, Braconidae.  In a quick and unsuccessful attempt to identify it, we searched BugGuide, but a more thorough search will take much more time than we have right now.  We suspect this Ichneumon is the victim of Unnecessary Carnage.

Thanks! So from what I read about the two possibilities below – not dangerous to humans….
That’s what I really needed to know.
I appreciate your help greatly!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Most Curious
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 09/09/2017
Time: 04:32 PM EDT
Hi Daniel,
Wondering if you can shed some light on this. I found this very sluggish cicada on my deck this afternoon and while I was crouched a food away taking photos, I realized that it had some sort of small fly (or wasp?) on its head. I wonder if the fly/wasp is some sort of parasite? Have you seen anything like this?
The cicada seemed to be nearing the end of its life as I was able to pick it up and move it to a safer spot in the garden quite easily.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah E Bifulco

Possible Parasitoid Wasp with Cicada

Dear Deborah,
This is not a fly.  It is a wasp and we suspect it is a parasitoid species of Braconid or Chalcid, though we do not know if any members of those family parasitize Cicadas, which means we have some interesting research ahead of us.  Before we can do that research, we will be posting your images.  We do want to forewarn you that we closely cropped one of your images to show the wasp better, and that cut off your signature.  Of the Chalcids, BugGuide states:  “most parasitize eggs or immature stages of other insects or arachnids” and “Some are used to control insect pests (Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera).”  Since Cicadas are in the order Hemiptera, it is possible that there might be a species, genus or family of Chalcids that preys upon Cicadas, but we have not been able to verify that at this time.  It is also possible that there is no evolutionary relationship between the two insects in your image and your images document a chance encounter.  We also found this BugGuide posting, but the larva appears to be Dipteran.

Possibly Parasitoid Wasp with Cicada

I actually wondered if it might be a wasp, so thanks for confirming.  I did a quick bit of search on anything (other than cicada killars) that parasitize cicadas but didn’t turn anything up.  Hopefully with your much more extensive network and knowledge base you can solve the mystery.  And, of course, crop away – that goes for any images I send your way.  I always appreciate you help very much.Very interesting.  I wondered if it might be a chance encounter, but the wasp was on the cicada’s head for close to 2 minutes, moving around mostly between the eyes.  I finally flicked it off with my finger.  Fascinating stuff…
Deborah Bifulco

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Arkansas
Date: 08/31/2017
Time: 08:41 PM EDT
Hello. This bug is not afraid of anyone getting close to it at all. It was on my shirt last night and then I knocked it off. A few minutes later it stung or bit my wrist and it stung for quite a bit. I’ve never seen a bug like this. We found it again today and I was trying to kill it but it was very tough to kill. Any ideas? Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Sam

Short-Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Sam,
This is a Short-Tailed Ichneumon in the subfamily Ophioninae, the only group of Ichneumons capable of stinging humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Help!
Geographic location of the bug:  North western KS
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 12:02 AM EDT
So this big was in my house and one of my kids (being a kid) tried to pick it up and got stung. Her whole finger is bright red and she’s telling me it feels like it was smashed. Any clue what this guy is!?
How you want your letter signed:  Lauren

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Lauren,
Whenever we receive a submission or comment from a person claiming to have been bitten or stung by a Crane Fly, we immediate suspect a Short-Tailed Ichneumon like the one in the image you submitted.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Looks like a Rose Sawfly BUT…….
Geographic location of the bug:  Five Ashes, East Sussex, UK
Date: 08/29/2017
Time: 03:21 AM EDT
I, at first, thought this must be an Ichneumon wasp because of what appears to be very long antennae and ovipositor, but the coloration exactly matches a Rose Sawfly. Any help gratefully received.
How you want your letter signed:  Nigel Horsley

Braconid Wasp

Dear Nigel,
This is definitely a parasitoid, not a Sawfly.  We suspect it is a Braconid, a family closely related to the Ichneumons.  Here is an Alchetron page with some similar looking Braconids, and Alamy has a nice image.  We are reluctant to speculate on a species, but if you find out any additional information, please give us an update.

Many thanks Daniel.  You are totally on the right track.  I now think it’s likely to be Atanycolus sp.
Best wishes, Nigel.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this cool bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Hesperia, MI
August 27, 2017 8:47 AM
We found this on our motorhome going through a pre-flight cleaning, but attached is a picture, it’s tail is amazing!
How you want your letter signed:  The schroeder’s

Stump Stabber

Dear Schroeders
This is the largest, and arguably the most impressive, North American parasitoid Ichneumon,
Megarhyssa atrata, commonly called a Stump Stabber because the female uses her lengthy ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the bark of trees that are infested with wood boring Horntail larvae.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination