Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasp.
Updated: 5/18/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasps are smaller versions of their elongated cousins in every way.
Most species of Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasps are brown or reddish-brown. Their abdomens are not as extended as other Ichneumon Wasps, but females still have ovipositors, though they are also greatly reduced in size. Long wispy antennae and legs are a paler brown color. Like moths, they are attracted to lights and are common visitors by homes and businesses near fields or forests.
Almost all the larvae for Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasps are parasites to caterpillars. Females likely attach a fertilized egg to a caterpillar with the aid of the ovipositor. A larva enters the caterpillar's body after hatching, and consumes it from the inside. The caterpillar dies in the process, but the wasp larva remains in the corpse to pupate. It emerges from the host as a winged adult.