Subject: Identify bug
Geographic location of the bug: Leicestershire, UK
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
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.