Currently viewing the category: "Parasitic Hymenopterans"
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Subject: Weird bug
Location: San Antonio, Texas
January 12, 2017 2:55 pm
Hello,
I found this slender yellow bug on my way to get the mail today. It has large blue eyes, long antennae, semi-long legs, and a long backside. Can you help me figure out what kind of bug this is? I’ve searched 10 websites and have not been able to figure it out!
Signature: Courtney Richardson

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Courtney,
This is a parasitic Ichneumon in the genus
Ophion, the Short Tailed Ichneumons.  You can compare your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “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.”  It should also be noted that Short Tailed Ichneumons are frequently attracted to lights, and though Ichneumons are considered harmless to humans, the Short Tailed Ichneumons are capable of stinging.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kids study
Location: Lower Mainland Bc Canada
November 10, 2016 4:36 pm
Hello;
I have a son very interested in learning about animals and bugs and insects. he is always on the look out in my backyard for something new to discover. Today he found a bug I had never seen and we wondered if you could help and identify it for us. I have attached a picture. M
Signature: Tamara

Ichneumon:  Possibly Pimpla sanguinipes

Ichneumon: Possibly Pimpla sanguinipes

Dear Tamara,
This is a female Ichneumon Wasp, a parasitoid that preys upon insects and other arthropods and is generally very prey specific.  This is a large family with over 5000 identified species in North America and an additional estimated 3000 species according to BugGuide.  Based on this BugGuide image, also from British Columbia, we suspect it might be
Pimpla sanguinipes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cool bug in Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
October 3, 2016 2:36 pm
Thanks for having this site, I’m a nature enthusiast and try to treat most bugs with admiration and respect. Saw this interesting bug in a hallway yesterday and was curious what kind of bug it is.
Signature: AB

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Dear AB,
This is a Giant Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa, and it is commonly called a Stump Stabber because the female uses her lengthy ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the bark of trees where the larvae will feed on the larvae of wood boring Horntail larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: WHAT ARE THESE THINGS!?
Location: Tampa, Florida
September 10, 2016 8:05 pm
Ok, so I am a little freaked out because I keep seeing these bugs suddenly and I have never seen them before. I have lived in Florida all of my life and suddenly in the last month or so, this bug keeps showing up. It doesn’t look so scary in the photo, but I will tell you that these bugs do not kill easily. And what I mean by that, is that I have to use a hammer smashing this bug into the tile floor to kill it. No amount of crushing it will kill it unless I use something like a hammer. That is freaking nuts! So yeah, they look kind of like a mosquito, but this thing is hard as a rock. The photo I am submitting makes this thing look like nothing has really happened to it and this was after using a hammer on it. Please help! I would really like to know what these things are and if I can take any measures to get them out of my house and out of my life!
Signature: Thank you!!!!

Ensign Wasp Carnage

Ensign Wasp Carnage

This is an Ensign Wasp, and we are going to unashamedly tag this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  Ensign Wasps parasitize the oothecae or egg cases of Cockroaches, so we have to include them in the beneficial insects camp.  Large populations of Ensign Wasps in your home means that you must have Cockroaches to support the population.  If you prefer Cockroaches in your house to Ensign Wasps, then by all means, hammer away.

Thank you so much for getting back to me!
So I don’t need to worry about these bugs bitting me or anything?

Though we have always maintained that Ensign Wasps do not sting humans, we believe there is a comment somewhere on our site claiming that a sting occurred.  Suffice to say that they are NOT an aggressive species, though handling one might result in a sting.  They do NOT bite.  According to Owlcation:  “The Ensign Wasp (Evonia appendigaster) looks a bit like a black spider with wings. Many people, upon seeing one, might assume that it will sting, but in fact it is totally harmless.  The Ensign Wasp is actually a beneficial insect because it is a parasite of cockroaches and hunts for their egg-cases, which are known as oothecae. The female wasps lay their eggs in them and the wasp larvae eat the cockroach eggs.”  The Galveston County Master Gardeners website has a nice page devoted to beneficial species and stinging is NOT mentioned.

I can’t tell you how much this means to me to get this info.. It is my goal to live in harmony with the earth and its population, even those bugs that freak me out. I really wanted to call an exterminator, but I am thinking it is best to just leave things be. Is there a way for me to donate to you via paypal? Thank you again!
Andrea

That is very kind of you Andrea.  There is a Paypal link on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mosquito
Location: Dayton Ohio
September 5, 2016 5:41 pm
Hello
On my way back from my daily run at the local hiking trail and this scary looking thing stuck to my windshield and didn’t move for quarter of a mile. I had to take a picture of it while driving but I was careful. But look at the stinger! I’ve never seen a mosquito quite like that.
This is sept. 6th in southwestern ohio
Signature: Nathan B.

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Dear Nathan,
This is NOT a Mosquito.  It is a parasitic Giant Ichneumon wasp in the genus
Megarhyssa, and it is 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 larvae of Horntails, including the Pigeon Horntail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please can you tell me what this is?
Location: Dalby forest. England
August 13, 2016 8:50 am
Saw this in the summer in north east England in a dense forest.
Signature: Perplexed

Sabre Wasp

Sabre Wasp

Dear Perplexed,
This is a parasitoid Ichneumon, the Sabre Wasp,
Rhyssa persuasoria, in the act of ovipositing, and you can verify our identification on Bio Images.  According to Bug Life:  “Wood drillers Ichneumons often locate their host species by ‘smelling’ them and this is exactly what Sabre Wasps do. Female Sabre Wasps locate the wood-boring larvae of the huge and beautiful Horntail Wasp (Uroceris gigas) by using their antennae to detect scents that emanate from the larvae’s wooden tunnels.  When a female Sabre Wasp has located a promising site, she starts tapping on the surface of the wood with her antennae. She then uses her long egg-laying tail to drill a ‘probe’ hole. She may drill a few probe holes before deciding on an appropriate position, and then drills as deep as she can. After 30-60 minutes, if successful, she will breach the tunnel wall, sting the larvae and then lay an egg on its body. With the larvae paralysed by the sting, it awaits the inevitable demise of being consumed alive by the Sabre Wasp grub.”  Your image is gorgeous, and though we have many similar looking images of North American relatives called Stump Stabbers in the act of ovipositing, your image is the first European example we have of your Sabre Wasp in the act of laying eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination