Subject: What is this?
Location: hamilton michigan united states
July 19, 2014 4:16 pm
This bug flew into our window when we drove into town …Kind of scary looking! what is it and should we be concerned?
Signature: Tammy Davis

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Hi Tammy,
This Giant Ichneumon,
Megarhyssa atrata, is commonly called a Stump Stabber.  The female of the species possesses an ovipositor that can approach five inches in length which she uses to deposit her eggs deep beneath the surface of trees and stumps that are infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps like the Pigeon Horntail.  The larval Stump Stabber feeds on the Horntail larva and then pupates, emerging from the stump as a winged adult.  Male Stump Stabbers which lack the ovipositor, can sense the emergence of a female through the release of pheromones and will congregate and await her coming to the surface in order to mate.  You have nothing to fear from the Stump Stabber unless a female mistakes an arm or leg for an infested log.  Wasps do have mandibles, and since both male and female Stump Stabbers must chew their way to the surface of the stump they developed in, they might also bite a person, but we do not believe such a bite would hurt or cause any problem.

Location: Hamilton, Michigan

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