Odd Looking wasp and a few for your collection!
Hi there Bug People!
The evening of 3-August we were visiting a relative in Maryland (see particular data below). The evening was still, warm and humid. Clear sky for the most part. I was out near the porch light (as I usually am at this location due to the great number of insects, spiders, frogs and toads that appear each eve). I managed to get two photos of the insect in question – the better of the two is showing the specimen about 1 1/2 longer than it actually was. I originally thought this to be an Ichneumon Wasp…but now I am not sure. I can find no image of a similar type in the species. So, the question is: What exactly is this not-so-little lovely? you will see some left overs from its tangle with a spider web on the front left leg. Thank you for your time.

I like to photograph only the most taken for granted of things in the world…lowly mushrooms and fungus, insects, small rodents, amphibians, etc… I have included a few ( a very small sampling ) of my ‘insect world’ favorites for 2004. Hope you enjoy them! (Personally, I love the Imperial Moth that befriended my hand…the Stag is second place) All of these photos are from the location described below.
Kindest Regards,
Scott Pierson
Actual Location Data: (of all insect photos attached) Earleville, MD – in a small, private community named ‘Hazelmoor’.
Latitude: 39.4401 Longitude: -76.0247
Time is always (approx) between the hours of 20:30 to 00:00 hrs, EDT

My Goodness, Scott,
I admire the structuralist tendencies you have applied to your insect photographs. Your Odd Looking Wasp is Pelecinus polyturator, a large and striking insect. According to Borror and Delong: “The female is 2 inches or more in length, shining black, with the abdomen very long and slender; the male, which is extremely rare in this country, is about an inch long and has the posterior part of the abdomen swollen. The females do not sting. this insect is parasitic on the larvae of June Beetles.” The 4 3/4 inches you have indicated on your photograph makes your specimen a behemoth. We agree that your Imperial Moth photo is amazing.

Thank you for your reply – I didn’t realize that you’d already posted it the website! My previous email did not include that “I think the site is great!” What a service to folks – especially those interested in insects. This is a great wealth of information and the fact that there are photos to examine is priceless. It’s great that you take the time to help folks out like this. Thank you again! Kindest Regards, Scott Pierson

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