Friday, July 15, 2011

Introducing...A 6 Inch Long Wasp!

   This is the beautiful and bizarre Ichneumon Wasp. For the second year in a row, Jeff has found one over at Dean, this time he was able to photograph it. It's body is only about 1.5 inches long, which is not unusual, however females can have tails (ovipositor) up to 5 inches. This particular individual was approximately 6 inches long, the Felco folding saw in the picture below is 6 inches. They can be quite variable in their coloration and appearance, but the female is quite unmistakable. Dean has quite a few dead trees on the property which undoubtedly play host to numerous species, this one included.

From an article titled The Amazing Ichneumon by Connie Hjelmeng-Johnson:

Ichneumon wasps are truly a study in contradictions. They look frightening, but they are harmless to people. They are highly numerous, but seldom seen. They are great allies against insect pests, yet few people know about them. Females penetrate wood with tiny ovipositors, but scientists don't fully understand how. And while they are common in the world of insects, they are certainly "uncommon" to those of us who have observed their amazing behavior first hand.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know I am not the only one that has seen these wasps. I live in WY and came across one that is similar. So far I have seen 3 of them: