Currently viewing the category: "Ichneumons"

Subject:  Insect That has Taken South Central Alaska by Storm
Geographic location of the bug:  Anchorage Alaska
Date: 09/19/2021
Time: 12:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am looking to ID this insect. They seem to be appearing everywhere over the last two weeks in Anchorage AK. This particular specimen may have a missing leg, but most do not. It seems similar to wood wasps I have seen before, but is smaller at ~1” long. Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Scott P

Ichneumon we believe

Dear Scott,
We believe this is an Ichneumon, a parasitoid wasp, or possibly a Braconid, also a parasitoid wasp, and both are in the superfamily Ichneumonoidea, which is according to BugGuide:  “A very biodiverse and important group. Many are valuable biocontrol agents that control populations of agricultural and forest pest insects. Wasplike in appearance, but (with rare exceptions) do not sting. “

Subject:  Insect Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Canakkale Province, Turkey
Date: 08/10/2021
Time: 05:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This insect has been collected in Sorghum crop field and it is needed the identification of this insect species. Moreover, the attached pictures are original and taken from my Samsung S5 mobile phone under open field conditions of the Çanakkale Province Turkey. Thanks in advance for this insect identification. Regards.
How you want your letter signed:  Dr. Baboo Ali

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Dr. Baboo Ali,
This is a Short Tailed Ichneumon Wasp, a parasitic wasp that preys upon a specific plant feeding species or genus or possibly family of insects.  You have requested an identification, but interestingly, all three of your attached images which have lengthy file names also include this information:  “
Ophion_Arı_Erkek_Edited_2021.07.12″.  What we find most interesting is that the genus name for a group of Short Tailed Ichneumons is actually Ophion and that word is in your file name.  Of the genus Ophion, BugGuide, a North American insect identification website states:  “Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars”  and “Adult Ophion species will hunt for their host caterpillar. Usually one egg is laid per host. Caterpillar usually dies during pupal stage though wasp larva remains to pupate itself.”  So, if your concern is the sorghum crop, this is a beneficial insect that is most likely hunting caterpillars that feed on the sorghum.

Subject:  Ichneumon
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 08/02/2021
Time: 8:46 AM EDT
Gentle Readers,
Daniel has been taking many images of interesting creatures using his magicphone (his first cellular telephone ever which he has had for the past year) because the iPhone pro has a marvelous camera.  Last week one morning while enjoying coffee in the garden, Daniel spotted this parasitic wasp, presumably an Ichneumon, preening on the tip of a blade of grass, so he picked the blade of grass to get a better look.  He realized by the preening he observed that this was probably a newly emerged wasp that had not yet flown.  It seemed it was checking out its new sensory organs, the antennae, and Daniel observed for about a half an hour before it finally flew off.  Ichneumon Wasps and their relatives the Braconids and the Chalcids are all interesting parasitic wasps that often prey on a single species.



Subject:  Identify bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Leicestershire, UK
Date: 07/16/2021
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was flying around my room at night, I thought it was a daddy long longs and grasped it in two hands. After a couple seconds, it “stung” me as I felt a very sharp prick on my hand.
As I closed it into just one hand to open the window, i felt another very sharp prick – so much so that I quickly released it to move away.
The pain continued in both areas for a fair few minutes and after trapping it in a glass, I managed to take a few pictures before releasing it.
It’s about the size of a daddy long legs, but is red with a “sting” on the end (where it is black) and “spikes” on its legs.  I’ve never seen it before, let alone have one mildly hurt me.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Jack


Dear Jack,
This is a parasitoid Ichneumon Wasp, and there are some species that are capable of stinging as you have learned first-hand.  Of the species pictured on the Natural History Museum Beginner’s Guide to Identifying British Ichneumonids, we believe it looks most like
Callajoppa exaltatoria, which is also pictured on Ukranian Biodiversity Information Network.  Though the coloration is similar to your individual, we do not believe they are the same species as other anatomical features appear different.  Ichneumons can be very difficult to identify with certainty.

Subject:  Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  East Greenville PA
Date: 06/30/2021
Time: 03:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Any chance you know what insect this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Heather

Stump Stabber

Dear Heather,
This is a Stump Stabber, the common name for the Giant Ichneumon
Megarhyssa atrata.  Your individual is a female and she uses her very long, up to five inches in length, ovipositor to deposit her eggs in dead and dying wood that contains the wood boring larvae of a Wood Wasp known as a Horntail, which is the food for the Stump Stabber larva.

Subject:  What’s this yellow wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsuala
Date: 12/09/2019
Time: 05:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! I’m living in Costa Rica and accustomed to all manner of crazy bugs, including having many, many paper wasps making my home their home. I’ve come across a very pretty wasp today, however, which I’ve never seen before. Any time there’s only one of something and it’s abnormally pretty, I start to wonder. I was hoping you could help me identify my new kitchen guest and let me know if I should be nervous about the surprisingly long stinger or not.
(sorry about the dust…it’s a daily accumulation, it’s crazy down here!)
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Monique

Unknown Ichneumon

Dear Monique,
We believe this is a parasitoid Ichneumon, a harmless solitary Wasp, but we have not had any luck finding any similar looking individuals online.  According to BugGuide:  “arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates”  and “Ichneumonids are notoriously hard to identify: aside from the sheer number of species, there are numerous cases of distant relatives that appear almost identical. Any identification based solely on comparing images should be treated as suspect unless an expert has said there are no lookalikes for the species or group in question.”  Ichneumons are important biological control agents and many species prey on caterpillars.  The female uses her long ovipositor (not a real stinger) to lay eggs inside the body of the living host and the larva that hatches will feed on the internal organs of the host, eventually killing it.

Thank you Daniel!
I used your identification in Google Images and, instead of getting moths like searching my image did, I found many similar images, so I completely trust your ID. She really was pretty and I hope that she finds a nice caterpillar nearby to help her hatch a lovely family.
Thanks for such a quick reply!