Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ichnuemon Wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus)

These images of a female Ichnuemon Wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus) were taken by Dr. Chase Hunter from the boardwalk at the
Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest.

How do we know that it is a female? It could be our exceptional eyesight or it could be the long ovipositor that she has trailing behind her in one image and penetrating the tree beneath her in the remaining images. Ichnuemons are
non-stinging relatives of wasps. The female uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs deep within wood infested with borer insects. The eggs will hatch and the young Ichnuemons will dine on the larval insects that are boring through the wood.

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