Currently viewing the category: "Parasitic Hymenopterans"

is this a Pigeon Horntails, Tremex columba???
This thing came flying in my house this morning and scared me and my dog! i grabbed the broom and killed it! then brought it to work to see if anyone had see anything like it before. no one had a clue. so i googled and found your website and after looking around the site, i’m guessing it’s a Pigeon Horntails, Tremex columba? can you confirm that? I live about 30 miles north of Houston in The Woodlands, Texas and I have never seen anything like it. Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks, Jeanie

Hi Jeanie,
While we understand how that long ovipositor can be off-putting, the Giant Ichneumon, Megarhyssa atrata, is harmless to humans. She uses the ovipositor to deposit her eggs in the burrows of wood boring insects, the larval food source. With all the recent publicity about Asian Longhorn Beetles possibly decimating our forests after arriving in this country in wood palettes, the Giant Ichneumons might be our only salvation. I guess your specimen will not be providing any future generations of pest control.

Braconid Wasp cocoons on caterpillar
I never would have know what this was if I hadn’t seen it on your site yesterday! I found this poor guy on my tomato plant, he is still alive but not for long. What does he turn into? I read that this is good because him and his friends would eat my tomato plants and some gardeners purposely release braconid wasps into their garden to control these caterpillars naturally.

Thanks for the image Steve,
Adults of Manduca sexta are large mottled brown moths with yellow spots on the abdomen. We have one pictured on our Hawkmoth page.

Giant Ichneumon
Dear Bugman:
A friend pointed me to your website, WOW, really great site to visit, I have been trying to find someone who could identify this Insect, behold I think I found it on your website. It is a Female Giant Ichneumon, Right! Here is a couple of Pictures, this was on a Maple tree at my weekend place in northcentral Pa. Let me know if I am correct, Please.
Thank you so much
Tom B
Allentown, Pa

Hi Tom,
Yes, you have a Giant Ichneumon female, Megarhyssa species. Thanks for the image.

bright red legs, bright blue body….what is it?
Hello Mr Bugman Sir,
I know you are busy what with this being summer but curiousity about this guy (girl?) is just too much to take!!! Seriously I am attempting to ID it myself and instead have made myself aware of way too many spooky creatures out there! Please pretty please look at my picture! Ok enough begging. Although his coloring is a bit drab now, when alive his legs were bright crimson and the body parts were a shimmery bright blue. He has two long curling (Suess-like) antennae and two stingers? trailing from the back end. These started flying during May sometime into our house in Victoria, B.C. ‘Course I am hoping that they are termites or carpenter ants – they don’t fit the description from what I can determine. Please tell me they are something innocuous and just plain pretty, made by Mother Nature.
Thanks, in advance, for your consideration.

Hi Ann-Marie,
We turned to Eric Eaton for more information on your species of Ichneumon. He wrote back telling us that except for Meharhyssa and Arotes it is nearly impossible to identify the genus and species of Ichneumons from photos. These are beneficial relatives of wasps that lay eggs and parasitize many types of destructive insects including caterpillars and borers.

I found this bug on my kitchen window, had to take a photo as i have never seen one like it before. I live in Belfast N.Ireland and curious to know if this is a local insect or unknown to Ireland.
Many thanks

Hi Una,
This is some species of Ichneumon. If it was from the U.S. I would say it was the genus Megarhyssa. It might be. At any rate, it is one of the Ichneumons.