Subject: Scary looking tail end…
Location: Northern IL
July 25, 2015 3:42 pm
Dear Bugman,
I just finished reading your book and never would have imagined that I would enjoy a book about bugs so much! Then lo and behold, I have an opportunity to submit a bug question. We are in northern Illinois and this scary looking critter just appeared on our window screen. Can you please tell me what it is?
Signature: JP

Giant Ichneumon

Giant Ichneumon

Dear JP,
How nice to hear you enjoyed Daniel’s book.  This fascinating creature is a Giant Ichneumon, sometimes called a Stump Stabber, in the genus
Megarhyssa.  We believe your individual, because of both the patterns in the wings and the striped abdomen, is Megarhyssa macrurus, and you may compare to this image on BugGuide.  The Giant Ichneumons prey upon Horntails or Wood Wasps, including the Pigeon Horntail.  The long ovipositor of the Stump Stabber is required to correctly deposit eggs into branches infested with larval Wood Wasps.

Location: Illinois

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