[CT Birds] Insect question answered.....

Brian Webster b.webster at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 18 17:25:21 EDT 2009


I just got home from work and found numerous responses to my question about the insect in my woods. I want to thank everyone who took the time out to respond. I got some close suggestions, one of which turned out to be exactly right.

Rick Baumhauer suggested the Pelecinid wasp, which is indeed my mystery insect.

The ichneumonid wasps I looked up were superficially similar, but everything I wrote down about it in my notes and everything I remembered makes the Pelecinid wasp the winner. Uniform black color, super long thin ovipositor (not the abdomen... thanks for pointing that out Twan and Brian K.), small translucent wings, much smaller body, the way it curls the ovipositor (I guess it curls it downwards more so than the upwards I saw), it is the right time of year and its habitat is correct as well.

It didn't even cross my mind that what I thought was the abdomen (before that, the stinger) was the ovipositer. My first impressions were correct for this being a menacing bug. It lays its eggs on an ususpecting beetle or other wood bearing larvae, and the wasps larvae enters it's host and does it's thing.

Are pelecinid wasps related/part of/close to ichneumonid wasps? Under ichneumonids, 'Peterson's Insects' says that there are 3000 some-odd species in the family. Perhaps the pelecinid wasp IS an ichneumonid?

I attached the link that Rick sent me below.

Thanks again, Rick and everyone who responded.


-Brian Webster-
Stratford, CT
b.webster at hotmail.com 		 	   		  
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