Giant Ichneumon takes Nectar

Subject: What is this insect?
Location: NE Ohio
September 29, 2013 9:36 am
This was found in Ohio. I’ve never seen an insect like this let along one that has a stinger that long. Approximate size of stinger was 3-4”
Signature: Mike

Stump Stabber
Stump Stabber

Hi Mike,
This is a female Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, most likely Megarhyssa macrurus or Megarhyssa nortoni.  Giant Ichneumons are commonly called Stump Stabbers.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is the ovipositor of the female.  A female Stump Stabber inserts her ovipositor beneath the bark of a dead or dying tree that is infested with wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps like the Pigeon Horntail.  Your photo is most interesting for us because we almost always receive images of Stump Stabbers stabbing stumps.  We have read that adults take nectar, and your photo appears to illustrate a nectaring female.

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