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

Subject:  Emperor moth caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Plettenberg Bay. South Africa
Date: 01/02/2020
Time: 03:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugma:  We have noticed these beautiful caterpillars at the same time each year. This year quite a few of them have “eggs” attached to them. It looks like these caterpillars die. Could this be a parasite wasp?
How you want your letter signed:  Jenny

Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillars with parasitoid Wasp Pupae

Dear Jenny,
We believe we already responded to a comment you posted to another posting on our site.  Alas, these Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillars,
Bunaea alcinoe, appear to have fallen victim to a parasitoid Wasp, probably a Braconid or Chalcid Wasp.  According to Siyabona Africa:  “The Bunaea alcinoe (common emperor) caterpillars mentioned above, had been discovered by a tiny specie of the large family of parasitoid Braconid wasps (Braconidae). The adult wasp had penetrated the live caterpillar(s) with her ovipositor and laid eggs inside the caterpillar. The eggs had hatched into larvae which fed within the caterpillar.  The larvae, on reaching full size, cut their way out of the caterpillar and formed tiny, white cocoons, within which they pupated, on the outside of the caterpillar. Within a few days the mature wasps cut their way out of the cocoons to repeat the cycle. The caterpillars, denuded of their nutrients and depending on their rate of leaf consumption, slowly shrivel and die.”

Hi
Many thanks for this detailed and interesting reply. Much appreciated.
Kind regards
Jenny

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this yellow wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsuala
Date: 12/09/2019
Time: 05:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! I’m living in Costa Rica and accustomed to all manner of crazy bugs, including having many, many paper wasps making my home their home. I’ve come across a very pretty wasp today, however, which I’ve never seen before. Any time there’s only one of something and it’s abnormally pretty, I start to wonder. I was hoping you could help me identify my new kitchen guest and let me know if I should be nervous about the surprisingly long stinger or not.
(sorry about the dust…it’s a daily accumulation, it’s crazy down here!)
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Monique

Unknown Ichneumon

Dear Monique,
We believe this is a parasitoid Ichneumon, a harmless solitary Wasp, but we have not had any luck finding any similar looking individuals online.  According to BugGuide:  “arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates”  and “Ichneumonids are notoriously hard to identify: aside from the sheer number of species, there are numerous cases of distant relatives that appear almost identical. Any identification based solely on comparing images should be treated as suspect unless an expert has said there are no lookalikes for the species or group in question.”  Ichneumons are important biological control agents and many species prey on caterpillars.  The female uses her long ovipositor (not a real stinger) to lay eggs inside the body of the living host and the larva that hatches will feed on the internal organs of the host, eventually killing it.

Thank you Daniel!
I used your identification in Google Images and, instead of getting moths like searching my image did, I found many similar images, so I completely trust your ID. She really was pretty and I hope that she finds a nice caterpillar nearby to help her hatch a lovely family.
Thanks for such a quick reply!
Monique

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Flying beetle????
Geographic location of the bug:  Cochrane, Alberta Canada
Date: 10/24/2019
Time: 03:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this walking along our window (inside)
How you want your letter signed:  Tracey

Ichneumon

Dear Tracey,
Those antennae lead us to believe that this is some species of Ichneumon, a family of parasitoid Wasps whose larvae feed on the internal organs of host-specific Arachnids and immature insects including Caterpillars, Beetle grubs and larvae of wood boring Wasps.  This is an enormous family with according to BugGuide:  “~5,000 described spp. in almost 500 genera in the Nearctic Region, possibly 3,000 more undescribed.”  We doubt it is your species because it is not reported as far north or west, but your individual does resemble 
Limonethe maurator which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Alabama
Date: 08/15/2019
Time: 10:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this?
How you want your letter signed:  Gillian McCown

Stump Stabber

Dear Gillian,
This is a female Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurus.  Giant Ichneumons are sometimes called Stump Stabbers because the female uses her long ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the bark of trees infested with wood boring larvae of Horntails.  They are not aggressive and they do not sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Crane Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario
Date: 08/09/2019
Time: 05:42 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this beautiful large insect with amazing colours and couldn’t help but take a picture and try to figure out what it was. The bug looks so deadly but my logic tells me it’s some sort of crane fly that wouldn’t harm you but you never know. I’m thinking someone else might find this insect really cool looking.
How you want your letter signed:  Crane fly???

Stump Stabber

This Giant Ichneumon, Megarhyssa macrurus, is commonly called a Stump Stabber because the female uses her very long ovipositor to drill into trees infested with Horntail larvae, and then to lay eggs.  Ichneumon larvae feed on the Horntail larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  American Pelicinid
Geographic location of the bug:  Piseco, New York (Adirondack Mtns)
Date: 08/10/2019
Time: 09:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just thought I’d post a pic of am AP that land on my hat today. Very friendly—crawled up and down my arm, and investigated my pulled pork sandwich.
How you want your letter signed:  Dexter Ford

American Pelecinid

Dear Dexter,
Thanks for submitting your awesome image of an American Pelecinid.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination