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What insect is this! yikes!

Posted by Frau Maine (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 23, 04 at 22:25

okay, I'm totally new here, but this bugger (heh) was just to look to let go.

I have some pictures, but the description is also necessary.

BODY- Looks like the combination of a Dragonfly, Wasp, and Praying Mantis. He's got about six legs, wings like a wasp, and eyes just like a dragonfly. and a really long tail thing that can be extended to about 8-12 inches!!!

#$*@Y$!-I found him(her?) in my oak tree. that's right, IN! What 'it' does is fly onto a tree, and scout around until it finds a hole. (the hole is about 1/2 a cm or smaller, and looks like some sort of beetle drilled a nice hole in it). and then it squats over the hole, and it's stem (sorry I don't know that much about bugs, but it's the long part on the back.) the stem lifts up and the tip separates and forms what looks like one of those foldable Frisbees. then it slowly sticks it's antenna down into the hole, and appears to feed out of the tree. it does this for a long amount of time, and it pretty neat.

Here are the pics, sorry not that detailed - insect.htm

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What insect is this! yikes!

Well, you have a lovely female ichneumonid wasp. She searches for an insect host, in this case, probably a beetle larva, and uses her long ovipositor to drill down into the tree and finally into the larva. The ovipositor is like a hypodermic syringe, and has a sheath to protect it that sometimes separates. The sheath is also very sensitive and "helps" her position herself and determine if she's in the right area. She will deposit an egg (that moves down the length of the ovipositor) into the body of the larva, it will hatch and that wasp larva will develop on the body of the beetle larval host. Some adults feed abit on the host before leaving, but she might not be doing that either - hard for me to say. They are quite lovely and fun to watch. I'm sure there are better photos somewhere on the web, but the one at this site below shows that ovipositor (the actually egg laying apparatus...stinger (!) if it used it on you...doubtful), and the two sheaths that normally hug the ovipositor and protect it.

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