I found this wasp name while searching your web site for pictures to identify a "bug". Now I cannot sleep until I know more about this wasp….if of course I have identified it correctly. You called it a "Giant Ichneumon" in response to an email sent to you by someone else. I think I have one under a glass in my family room….too afraid to move it. I have 3 kids and a dog. This wasp has a black skinny "tail" that is at least 2 inches long and 6 legs that are orange/yellowish and a long skinny body. Did I mention the long antennas? When I look up Ichneumon as a general web search…I don’t get to far with any additional info. What do I do with it and are there many more lurking about? AAaaaghhhh! We live in the pacific northwest. Thanks for any info. I did take pics and will send one on if you need to see it. Thank you in advance,
Dear R. Frances,
Though they are wasps, Giant Ichneumons do not sting. That is an ovipositor for laying eggs deep inside trees where the larvae hunt wood borers. They are beneficial insects for that reason. Try doing a search for the scientific name Megarhyssa atrata for more information.
Photos of Megarhyssa nortoni
Thanks for your quick response….here are 6 lovely photos of the Megarhyssa atrata or Giant Ichneumon. So glad to hear that the tail is not the stinger!! And you will be glad to note my husband released her this morning to the outside. Kinda curious where they are originally found as I have lived in the Seattle area for 30 years and have not seen one here before. Thanks Daniel!
Hi again R. Frances,
After seeing your photos, we can agree they are an Ichneumon of some sort, but the coloring seems a little off for Megarhyssa atrata, though it could be a local variation.
Ed. Note: (09/06/2004) Eric just wrote in identifying this as Megarhyssa nortoni.