Nocturnal Ichneumon, NOT Scorpionfly

Subject: Winged bug with a hard exoskeleton
Location: Suburban Philly, PA
April 7, 2014 11:53 am
Hi bugman! I’ve seen several of these bugs since moving into my apartment in suburban Philadelphia in 2007, although I usually find them dead under the TV stand. This guy, and one of his relatives a few days before, were alive. His relative was on my screen door at night (attracted to the light, maybe?) and was a lighter yellow color, while this guy is darker and managed to make it inside to the front window. After I snapped this photo he started flying around torturing my cat, so I whacked him with a flip-flop (I’m sorry! I don’t usually kill) and he had an incredibly hard exoskeleton – all my weight didn’t kill him. If he’s not dangerous, I’m content to try and catch them and put them outside if I ever find any more. Do you know what he is? We’ve had typical spring weather for the last few days – cool at night, warmish and alternating between damp and sunny during the day. Some of them (not this guy, but others) look like th ey have a large stinger.
Signature: Colleen

Possibly Scorpionfly
Nocturnal Ichneumon

Dear Colleen,
We are not certain of the identity of this insect, but our best guess is a Scorpionfly or other member of the order Mecoptera.  It looks somewhat like this member of the family Panorpodidae that is pictured on BugGuide.  We will try to get another opinion.

Eric Eaton provides a correction
That is one of the nocturnal ichneumon wasps.  Not enough detail to place to subfamily, let alone genus, species.

Thank you SO much! A quick Google search of Ichneumon wasps makes me think Eric was right. Good to know that’s an ovipostor and not a stinger. Looks like my kitty cat is safe 🙂 Again, thanks – I didn’t expect such a quick reply!

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