Giant Ichneumon

Is this rare to Minnesota?
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 7:35 AM
I photographed these in August in my backyard, I had never seen them before. I have learned, from the University of Minnesota and your website that they are megarhyssa atrata. They are beautiful. Can you tell me if these are rare to my area, or can I expect more of them in the future? Thank you so much for your help.
Anita, Plymouth MN
Plymouth, Minnesota

Giant Ichneumons laying eggs
Giant Ichneumons laying eggs

Hi Anita,
Your Giant Ichneumons, Megarhyssa atrata, do range in Minnesota and they are not uncommon.  the likelihood of seeing them in the future probably depends upon a food source.  The adult females in your photo are laying eggs in the wood of a tree that is infested with wood boring larvae, most likely those of the Pigeon Horntail.  As long as dead and dying wood is present and that wood is infested with the host insect, there will be a ready food supply for the Megarhyssa atrata and you will probably see the adults.

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