Giant Ichneumon: Dead from involuntary insect slaughter

Update:  July 15, 2018
It is never too late to add an overlooked posting to the Nasty Reader Award tag.

Strange wasp
July 25, 2009
This painful creature was found at my ex-husbands house. It came down from the attic (comforting I know). It has, what looks like, three long stingers about three + inches long. It has yello on its head/antennas and very long back legs and black wings.
East Tennessee

Giant Ichneumon: Dead by human hands???
Giant Ichneumon: Dead by human hands???

Dear Samantha,
We are guessing this Giant Ichneumon, Megarhyssa atrata, came down from the attic alive and we are also guessing it is not asleep in this photograph.  We are going to make the leap that is was killed before the photograph was taken.  Giant Ichneumons, despite their frightening appearance, are perfectly harmless.  They are parasitic relatives of wasps and they are incapable of stinging.  What looks like a stinger is in reality the ovipositor of the female and she uses it to lay eggs in the tunnels of wood boring insects like the Pigeon Horntail and other Wood Wasps.  The newly hatched Giant Ichneumon larva then locates the larva of the Wood Wasp and begins to feed upon it.  Coincidentally, we also just received an image of a dead Wood Wasp which we will post next.
Since this Giant Ichneumon was killed unnecessarily, we will tag it as Unnecessary Carnage.

I do not appreciate your accusations. It was alive, I had to put it in a container at my ex-husbands house and bring it to mine. It did die on the way over, it was not killed. If I wanted to kill it it would be smooshed, I cannot spray pesticide as my infant is usually close by me. You have been very rude, I will know not to come to you again if I have another question about a bug.
Thanks for your time.

Dear Samantha,
It was not our intention to be rude, but to answer your question as to the identity of your insect, and to try to educate you and others out there about its harmlessness.  The fact that the death of the Giant Ichneumon was involuntary in no way changes that its death was unnecessary, though we are pleased to know that its demise was unintentional.  Insects may die if they are kept for long periods of time in tightly closed containers, and it is surprising how many times unintentional death by suffocation or heat exhaustion occurs, and we are not speaking about insects.  If it is your choice to no longer use this free service that we offer, and we promise we will not force you to visit our site for either educational or entertainment purposes, nor will we demand that you send us additional questions about insects and other arthropods.  In the future, should you have questions about creatures that might potentially harm your infant, you are free to pass over our website and search for your answers elsewhere on the world wide web, and we promise not to blame you for never writing us again.

6 thoughts on “Giant Ichneumon: Dead from involuntary insect slaughter”

    You guys are the best.
    I understand her being concerned about her baby, but really; you can only go by what people tell you & show you in a picture.

  2. This Samantha girl doesn’t sound so bright and blames people who are actually giving helpful information, rude. I hope her infant doesn’t take after it’s mother’s stupidity.

      • Idk u but I do appreciate u! I, too, get upset when I see unnecessary carnage of innocent souls. Glad there’s a place people can educate themselves 🙂 keep up the good work!!


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