Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ichneumonid Wasp - Thyreodon Atricolor

The Ichneumonidae family consists of a wide variety of parasitic wasps. These wasps are mostly solitary and come in many different forms. These wasps procreate by placing their eggs inside the larvae or pupae of other insects or spiders. Most ichneumonid wasps lay their eggs inside their host, called endoparasitic, while others are ectoparasitic, laying their eggs close to the host so that the larvae can feed on them externally.
I originally misidentified this insect as a Thyreodon atricolor, endoparatic ichneumonid wasp. Thanks to one of my readers, who's blog is Don't Bug Me, I now know that this is incorrect. This insect only has a single pair of wings where wasps have two pairs of wings. This is probably actually a type of crane fly but which specific type I am not certain. This is a true Ichneumonid wasp, notice it has 4 wings. I believe it is a form of giant ichneumon. These use their long ovipositor to lay their eggs inside of hortail wasp larvae which bore inside of hardwood trees. I took this pic in St Croix State Park.

11 comments:

Kala said...

Nice close-up images.

Jama said...

Amazing macro!

Don't Bug Me! said...

Would you hate me if I told you that this is not a wasp but a dipteran fly? Look behind the first pair of wings. Instead of a second pair of wings you can see a pair of little knob-like structures - the halteres. Only dipterans have these.

Ecobirder said...

I would centainly not hate you. Insects are a new world for me and every day I learn more. I use the book Insects of the North Woods to help make my identifications but there are just so many different kind of insects that they can not have pictures of everything. This looked like the photo of the Thyreodon artricolor that was in the book but it does have smaller antenae and as you pointed out only one set of wings.

AL said...

Oh my, I am so afraid of wasp that's why I never get too close to them, so that's how they look like.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

I'm itching...this is a creepy critter...but the photo is so vivid and with great contrast.

My macro ORANGE HIBISCUS

Don't Bug Me! said...

I agree - I think that it is a cranefly. If you want to try and ID it, here is a good key that I found
http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/index.htm
Of course, keying out insects does require quite a bit of patience and a microscope or good hand lens. It also requires the actual insect, so if you only have the photos, you might be out of luck.

chasity said...

so cool.
i'm constantly amazed by insects~
what they do. how they look. how many different kinds there are!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Great shots but that first little guy looks a bit menacing - the bad boy. I do like the last shot very much. The details are just so exciting.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All are very interesting, and I find them each fascinating to view so close without chance of being stung~

Andree said...

Great information. Wonderful photos, of course. Thank you!