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  • Giant Ichnemon Wasp - (Megarhyssa macrurus)

    Giant Ichnemon Wasp - (Megarhyssa macrurus)

    Females with long syringe-like ovipositors may strike fear in humans, but these 'tails' are designed to bring forth life, not ruin someone's day.

    Staff Writer (12/1/2017): Ovipositors on females Giant Ichneumon Wasps double the length of the actual wasp. The skinny, tube-like ovipositor is not a stinger and cannot sting. It is somewhat flexible near the abdomen, but rigid enough at its tip to pierce tree bark and wood allowing the female to deposit her fertilized egg inside of the tree and not on it. Two benefits of this are protection for the eggs from the elements and predators, and close proximity to a food source. This species of wasp is actually a parasite of another species of wasp, the Pigeon Tremex, a type of Horntail that also injects its eggs into tree bark. The Giant Ichneumon female searches for holes that already harbor a Horntail larva. She will then inject her egg on it, or next to it. Her larva will feed on the Horntail until it is ready to pupate. Winged adults emerge from the tree.

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    Details of the:
    Giant Ichnemon Wasp

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Giant Ichnemon Wasp
    Scientific Name: Megarhyssa macrurus

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Ichneumonidae
           Genus: Megarhyssa
            Species: macrurus

    Size (Adult, Length): 29mm to 51mm (1.14in to 2.01in)

    Identifying Colors: red, yellow, black

    Additional Descriptors: long, tail, stinger, thread, needle, syringe, stick, tree, v, angles, stripes, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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