• Spiders
  • Beetles
  • Bees & Ants
  • Butterflies & Moths
  • Grasshoppers & Crickets
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • True Bugs
  • Insects By State
  • Giant Ichneumon Wasp - (Megarhyssa nortoni)

    Giant Ichneumon Wasp - (Megarhyssa nortoni)

    The long, syringe-like ovipositor on female Ichneumon Wasps looks like a mean stinger, but it's really all about the babies.

    Staff Writer (8/15/2017): The size of M. nortoni alone creates anxiety among people who don't know about this wasp. It has a long, slender abdomen, dotted with red and yellow ovals or hexagons on each segment. The mainly black body sports yellow legs. Females have long needle-like ovipositors that are mistaken for flexible stingers. This ovipositor doubles the length of the insect, but it is not a stinger. It is a thin tube that females inject into tree bark where they suspect Horntail larvae have been implanted. She lays a fertilized egg on or near a Horntail larva inside the bark where the Horntail will serve as food for her own offspring once it hatches. M. nortoni seems to specifically parasitize Horntails.

    Look for this species of Ichneumon Wasp on trees in deciduous forests and parks.

    ©2005-2017 www.InsectIdentification.org. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from www.InsectIdentification.org is strictly prohibited. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.

    Details of the:
    Giant Ichneumon Wasp

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Giant Ichneumon Wasp
    Scientific Name: Megarhyssa nortoni

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

    Size (Adult, Length): 25mm to 38mm (0.98in to 1.50in)

    Identifying Colors: black, yellow, red

    Additional Descriptors: needle, sting, thread, poke, tree, wasp, flying, multicolored

    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.

    BUGFINDER: What Kind of Bug is This...
    BUGFINDER allows for a quick search of the Insect Identification database by selecting primary color, secondary color, number of legs and the territory / state in question. If only one color is present on your insect, select it again as its SECONDARY color. Remember that the more details you can offer, the better your chances of finding a match. As a rule of thumb, six legs are typical for most insects whereas spiders generally have eight legs.
    Primary Color:
    Secondary Color:
    Number of Legs:
    State / Province:
    General Category: