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Ichneumon Wasp - Coelichneumon (Coelichneumon navus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ichneumon Wasp - Coelichneumon

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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.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 is 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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
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Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Ichneumonidae
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          Genus: Coelichneumon
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            Species: navus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Coelichneumon navus
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 25mm (0.47" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, white
Descriptors: black and white antennae, banded, white rimmed eyes, white ring, white knees, dot, flying, wasp, small, skinny

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 12mm (0.5in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 12mm
Md: 18.5mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Ichneumon Wasp - Coelichneumon may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Ichneumon Wasp - Coelichneumon. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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