Currently viewing the category: "Ichneumons"

Subject:  Is this some kind of wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Rural Upstate NY
Date: 06/25/2018
Time: 09:46 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was trapped inside our screened porch June 20 this year. It was over 2 inches long.  Thanks…
How you want your letter signed:  Matt

Stump Stabber

Dear Matt,
This is a harmless, parasitic Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, a group commonly called Stump Stabbers because the female uses her long ovipositor to lay eggs in stumps and trees that have infestations due to wood boring larvae that provide food for the larval Stump Stabber.  Ichneumons are classified in the same insect order as Wasps, Ants and Bees. 

Subject:  What is that wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mountains by provo Utah
Date: 06/16/2018
Time: 02:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw several very big wasps while camping in the mountains next to provo Utah. At first we were a little afraid of them do to their size, but eventually we realized they were not interested in us. We saw them mostly on the trunks and branches of the trees in small groups. Their body’s were long and slender, at least 2 inches long, with long legs. They had a “stinger” that was twice as long as its body, but really mobile and bendable. Just curious what it might be. We have lived in the city at the base of the mountain for decades and have never seen them before.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Canpers

Stump Stabbers

Dear Curious Campers,
These are female Ichneumon Wasps in the genus
Megarhyssa, commonly called Stump Stabbers because they use their long (up to five inches long) ovipositors to lay eggs in trees and stumps that are infested with wood burrowing Horntail larvae.

Stump Stabbers

Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Montreal , Quebec
Date: 06/11/2018
Time: 07:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this on a diseased Maple tree in our backyard.  Can you identify what this is
How you want your letter signed:  Alan Kelly

Giant Ichneumon Ovipositing

Dear Alan,
This is a female Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurus which is pictured on BugGuide, and she is ovipositing or laying eggs.  Since you have indicated that your maple tree is diseased, it is most likely infested by various wood boring insects, including the larvae of the Pigeon Horntail, the prey of the Giant Ichneumon.  The female Giant Ichneumon senses the presence of the larval Pigeon Horntail burrowing in the wood, and she inserts her long ovipositor so she can lay an egg on or near the larval Horntail.  When the egg hatches, the larval Giant Ichneumon will parasitize the Pigeon Horntail larva.  The Giant Ichneumon will not harm your tree.

Subject:  Butterflies or Moths
Geographic location of the bug:  Taiwan
Date: 05/11/2018
Time: 03:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I was wondering if you could help me identify this caterpillar.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks! Libbi

Ichneumon Pupa

Hi again Libby,
We are greatly troubled as we are nearly certain we have identified a very similarly looking suspended pupa in the past, possibly from Australia, but we cannot recall what it is.  We are posting this as unidentified and we hope our readership will assist in the identification.

Update:  Ichneumon Pupa
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash, he directed us to this BugGuide posting of an Ichneumon pupa from the genus

Subject:  Bug identified – Ichneumon wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  California – Yolo County
Date: 04/02/2018
Time: 10:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.” -Darwin
I recently asked about this insect I found in my laundry room. I thought it some type of crane fly at first, but the head was very different, no proboscis. Thought it pretty awesome that Darwin had mentioned it in a letter, makes me happy that he and I shared curiosity over the same insect.
How you want your letter signed:  TobyG

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear TobyG,
You are correct that this is an Ichnuemon, more specifically a Short Tailed Ichneumon in the genus
Ophion based on this BugGuide image, and not a Crane Fly.  Though most Ichneumons cannot sting humans, it is our understanding that this particular genus is capable of stinging, and we suspect that the reports we have received of stinging Crane Flies are actually Ichneumons.  We will be featuring you submission as our Bug of the Month for April 2018.

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Subject:  What´s that bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Portugal
Date: 12/16/2017
Time: 10:31 AM EDT
Can you please help on identify this bug ?
How you want your letter signed:  Pedro Santos


Dear Pedro,
This is a parasitoid Ichneumon and it looks similar to
Ophion luteus which is pictured on Wildscreen Arkive.  We are postdating your submission to go live to our site later in the month while we are away from the office for the holidays.