Black and white are the main colors on this Ichneumon Wasp, and the white rings around its eyes showcase one area of its color contrast.
Ichneumon Wasps have long abdomens and come in a myriad of colors and patterns. Like many wasps in this family, this species parasitizes caterpillars. Two commonly attacked species include the Fall Webworm and the Armyworm. Females generally do not sting, but a thin, needle-like ovipositor certainly suggests otherwise. Fertilized eggs are attached to the backs of caterpillars and the wasp larvae eat the caterpillar after hatching. This diet keeps moth populations in check and creates a niche for the wasp.
C. navus is an attractive wasp that is mostly black, but sports bright bits of white on various body parts. Antennae have wide bands of white. The area just below the joints of the wasp's legs are white. Two short white bands at the lower edge of the thorax almost meet to form a 'V'. The most interesting place to see the contrast, however, is around the glossy black eyes. White rings completely surround each one. It is a small to medium-sized wasp that does its best work near gardens and trees. It is not an aggressive wasp, which gladly affords an observer more time to admire its qualities.
Scientific Name: Coelichneumon navus
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 25mm (0.47in to 0.98in)
Colors: black, white
Descriptors: black and white antennae, banded, white rimmed eyes, white ring, white knees, dot, flying, wasp, small, skinny
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.